BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Cabinet officials acknowledged, during Feb. 11 visits to industrial and manufacturing businesses, that their exports support the Federation’s economy and their products support businesses around the world.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris led Cabinet member and officials from the Department of Labour, on visits to three factories in the CAP Southwell Industrial Park, one in West Basseterre and one in Sandy Point where they met and held talks with management and workers.
“The manufacturing sector is dynamic, stable and strong and remains competitive in export manufacturing as their products find their way into the aerospace industry in the US and Europe,” said Dr. Harris.
Factory workers at the C.A. Paul Southwell Industrial Park were assured of the government’s commitment to maintain industrial harmony by Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, the Honourable Vance Amory.
The visits formed part of the Team Unity Administration’s fourth Anniversary Calendar of Activities under the theme: “TEAM UNITY: Making Dreams a Reality in Every Community!”
“It is a highly sophisticated and competitive industry and all of our products are of a high standard,” said Dr. Harris during a tour of five factories. “That is why when decisions are being made regarding where to expand in 2018/2019, St. Kitts and Nevis has been the preferred site.”
“We chose to visit the manufacturing plants,” said Dr. Harris at Harowe Servo Controls St. Kitts Ltd in Sandy Point. “We were very impressed by what we have heard.”
Addressing management and staff at Kajola Kristada Ltd., Amory said, “The government is interested in the welfare of both the employer and the workers. If we don’t have that harmony, those good relations, we do not think that we will have the kind of productivity and the good news, which you have reported this morning and that really is our function as the Ministry of Labour.”
Kajola Kristada Ltd. employs 109 employees. General Manager of Kajola Kristada Ltd., Jose Rosa said the company expects to employ 10 to 20 more people in 2019 with another perhaps 35 more when it introduces new equipment and products.
“That has to be good news for all of us in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Amory. “We just want the people who have an interest. I know you have your special training and recruitment priorities, but if there is anything the Ministry of Labour can do to assist, we are happy to do so.
“We have set up a data bank with people, their qualifications and the work they would like to do. You can tap into that resource to find qualified applicants.”
The Cabinet also visited Lutron Liamuiga; Jaro Electronics; St. Kitts Carib Brewery, and Harowe Servo in Sandy Point.
After Lutron Liamuiga Ltd, members of Cabinet visited the neighbouring Kajola Kristada, where General Manager Jose Rosa welcomed them. They met with senior staff and toured the factory tour.
The next stop was at Jaro Electronics, where they were welcomed by Vice President Mrs. Doris Archibald-Webbe, and toured the factory with Plant Manager Irvine Daniel.
From the CAP Southwell Industrial Park, the Cabinet visited Carib Brewery (St. Kitts & Nevis) Ltd., where they were welcomed by Managing Director Mark Wilkin and taken on a plant tour by Kevin Wilkinson, Lead in Health, Safety and Environment.
In the afternoon they visited Harowe Servo Controls St. Kitts Ltd, in Sandy Point, where Carol Evelyn took them on a tour of the factory.
“It has been a very useful day, and one in which we have spent with hundreds of employees throughout the length and breadth of the country,” said Dr. Harris. “The fact that we have prioritised them is an indication how well we have conceptualised our programmes and policies, how much we have put job growth at the heart of the economic agenda for St. Kitts and Nevis. We have come to ensure that workers are happy, that they are productive, and that they set for themselves high standards.”
Also on the visit were: Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards; Minister of Health, Agriculture, Human Settlements et al the Hon Eugene Hamilton; the Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon Lindsay Grant; Attorney General the Hon Vincent Byron, and Minister of State for Health the Hon Wendy Phipps; Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins; Deputy Speaker, the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett; Department of Labour representatives were Permanent Secretary Ron Dublin-Collins; Labour Commissioner Ms. Shermel James; and Deputy Labour Commissioner Deon Webb.