(Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister)
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — While conducting visits to manufacturing plants on St. Kitts on Feb. 11, members of the Team Unity Cabinet were updated on the plans and projections of the various factories, which point towards a projected growth in the manufacturing sector in 2019.
The visits to Lutron Liamuiga, Kajola Kristada Ltd, Jaro Electronics, Carib Brewery (St. Kitts & Nevis) Ltd in Basseterre, and API Harowe St. Kitts Ltd in Sandy Point formed part of the Team Unity administration’s fourth anniversary calendar of activities.
Plant Manager for API Harowe St. Kitts Ltd., Carol Evelyn, said in his opinion, the manufacturing sector in St. Kitts “has a very strong future.”
“We have a very good workforce; we continue to ship quality parts out of St. Kitts and that’s extremely good for us,” said Evelyn. “We have people who are ready and willing to work long hours because some of the times we have spike orders and to meet them we have to work extra overtime to meet those orders and the associates are supportive on that end.”
A similar view was expressed by the General Manager of Kajola Kristada Ltd., Jose Rosa. He said the manufacturing sector is critical to the diversification of the country’s economy; hence, it is important that it remains highly competitive.
Speaking specifically of Kajola Kristada, Rosa noted his company, which employs 109 workers, is expected to install new automated machinery and introduce a new product in 2019. They are expected to significantly increase the organization’s revenue in 2019. The company expects to provide additional employment for 10 to20 persons this year, with a possible 35 more when it introduces its new equipment and product.
At API Harowe, Evelyn revealed that 2018 “was really good as business was up 25 percent, and we’re looking forward to another good year.”
API Harowe St. Kitts Ltd. has been in operation in St. Kitts for 44 years, employs 225 workers.
Senior Minister and Minister of Labour, the Honourable Vance Amory, said that over the last four years the Team Unity administration has created an environment that promotes growth in the manufacturing sector.
“We want to make sure that workers are being treated fairly and that they get their just wages,” said Amory. “We want the employers to get their just and fair days’ work. We try as far as possible to encourage employers to find ways of compensating their workers when they do well and we ask the workers to perform well at all times.”
Joining Senior Minister Amory on the tour were Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Shawn Richards; Honourable Lindsay Grant; Honourable Eugene Hamilton; Attorney General, Senator the Honourable Vincent Byron; Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps; Deputy Speaker, Senator Akilah Byron-Nisbett, and Cabinet Secretary, Mrs. Josephine Huggins.
Also present were the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Labour, Ron Dublin-Collins; Labour Commissioner Shernel James; and Assistant Labour Commissioner Deon Webbe.