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The plight of Gravel & Concrete

Sylvester Quarless – under fire as Chairman of Board of Directors of Gravel Concrete & Emulsion Production Corporation

In a blistering attack on the operations of the state-owned Gravel Concrete & Emulsion Production Corporation, one of the most senior staffers has accused the current Board of Directors of doing nothing positive to uplift the company since the change of government in 2022.

“These people and them are a waste of time,” she said of the Board headed by the current Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sylvester Quarless.

The senior staffer likened the Chairman of the Board as “a dead man walking” and “only making a set of nonsense.”

“From Day One the board is the problem – the Board of Directors is the problem in Gravel & Concrete,” she said.

The staffer with over 25 years of experience at the corporation told THE NEW TODAY that there is absolutely nothing new in terms of policies and in assisting the operations of Gravel & Concrete from the board that was put in place to replace the ones from the former New National Party (NNP) government of Keith Mitchell.

“It is just nonsense and it is some incompetent people that we have on this board – I am telling you. They just messing up everything- am tired. I am fed up talking about this incompetent people they have there, they don’t bring nothing to the table in terms of how to transform the place,” she remarked.

According to the senior staffer, the current workforce has been able to take Gravel & Concrete out of the precarious position that it found itself in during the rule of the NNP regime, but the new set of directors have failed to give the state body the necessary tools to improve the efficiency of its operation.

“We get the place out of the mess that it was in with all them old and outdated machinery that they have. We are still dey at this time fighting with what we met there. I am so upset and so disappointed in these people and them,” she said.

The employee charged that there has been no injection of new equipment by the new Board of Directors to improve the operations of Gravel & Concrete.

She said the corporation has just lost out of a deal to purchase a badly needed piece of equipment that is already on the island from a Trinidad construction company, that was eventually bought a few days ago by another local company engaged in mining operations.

The senior staffer said this is “a very important” piece of machinery to help with excavation work in the quarry and called on the local media to interview the current Board members and ask them what they have bought to the table to help improve Gravel & Concrete since their appointments to serve after the last general election,

She charged that the only thing they have done is to purchase “two blasted old trucks that they buy and we had to catch we a** to send and get parts, and get everything to rebuild the trucks.”

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“The only thing I know that they bring is two dam old concrete trucks, that is all I know that they bought. That is the only thing that they do, put us in more problems than anything else. I am so disappointed in these people and them – I can’t be more angry than that again,” she said.

She went on to say: “Every time we make a step forward, they sending us three steps backward. What’s this board doing? Nothing.

According to the senior staffer at the corporation, the directors are not decisive and seemingly engage only in mere “ole talk” at board meetings.

She reiterated the need for Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell, who is the Line Minister for Gravel & Concrete, to meet with the workers to hear their grievances and complaints.

She also attacked the decision taken by the Board of Directors to now put out applications to recruit just about all the management positions, including that of Sales & Marketing Manager, but cannot see the need to buy an excavator to help improve on production at the corporation.

The senior staffer questioned the rationale to hire a Marketing Manager on the grounds of “what is there to market.”

“We have the raw material. Everybody has to come to us because that (aggregates) is the only building material that you can get in Grenada so I don’t understand what they’re marketing.

She chided the Board of Directors for not taking action on purchasing an efficient block making plant for the company and to replace the old one that is suffering from frequent breakdowns.

“We have limited amount of blocks because every minute the block machine breaking down – we have to weld, do all kinds of things, fight up and keep the thing running. The production is not so much in the different blocks machine sections.

“Instead of them studying how to organise and get a blocks machine – an improved blocks machine – no they ain’t studying that.

The senior staffer charged that the Board of Directors under Quarless leadership has not purchased any equipment in its two years to help the corporation become more efficient and effective in production.

“I don’t see none at all,” she quipped.

Referring to Gravel & Concrete as the main quarry in Grenada in the supply of aggregates for the construction industry, the employee said in the past two years despite the outdated equipment, the production has improved to the point that residents on the sister isle of Carriacou no longer order aggregates from Dominica but are now getting their supply from the mainland.

“Every week we send thousands upon thousands of materials to Carriacou. You can pass on the Carenage and you will see the boats and them loading at the given time,” she said.

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