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Worker laments: Too many “square pegs in round holes” at Gravel & Concrete

File photo of striking working at the problematic Gravel & Concrete

A top manager at the state-run Gravel & Concrete has described morale among the staff as at an all-time low and called for sweeping changes to be made by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to the composition of the Board of Directors.

The employee called THE NEW TODAY on Tuesday to complain that the Board, led by Congress Chairman Sylvester Quarless, is virtually running the state body on a day-to-day basis and that decisions are just handed down to Management for implementation.

“A height of nonsense that is going on in this place. I am tired with this Board thing because the Board doesn’t have any indication of what they’re doing. That is real nonsense now,” she said.

According to the senior management staffer, the situation has reached the stage at the company in which the management is now virtually afraid to make any decision on their own about the running of the company on a day-to-day basis.

She said the Board is making a number of critical mistakes as not one of them will come on “the ground” to see and understand the conditions that workers are facing especially with the constant breakdown of machinery that is affecting production.

The female executive member of staff was critical of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell who is the current Line Minister for the company and his failure over the months to hold a meeting with the Management and Staff to hear their grievances.

“The Prime Minister is not coming and visiting to hear how the workers are disgruntled and stuff like that. I don’t understand what is happening. It is bad – when I am telling you that it is bad, it is bad,” she said.

In a vicious attack on the Board of Directors, the senior employee accused several of them “of fighting hard” to mash up the state enterprise.

“If you come around and you speak to the workers they are going to tell you the same thing, the actual thing am telling you,” she said.

The senior staff accused some members of the Board of looking after their own private sector business ventures in the day while at the same time holding “Gravel & Concrete to ransom” and preventing it from making a positive stride towards its development and true potential.

“I am a citizen of Grenada and I am not going to let that happen – I am going to talk about it,” she said.

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According to the senior worker, there is a view among many of the employees that certain persons on the Board have embarked upon a deliberate policy “to just run down this place.”

She pointed in the direction of a particular member of the Board who is into the construction business but does not buy any Ready Mix Concrete from Gravel & Concrete and is often heard making the statement that the product from another private sector competitor is far superior to that of the state-owned company.

The employee who hold a managerial position complained that the equipment now on hand at Gravel & Concrete are in a very bad and terrible shape and the Board is seemingly not doing anything to address the situation.

“We don’t have equipment. Look, the bulldozer broke down so long. It is only the Excavator that we have. All the Excavators, they work now, they break down tomorrow – a lot of challenges.”

The senior management employee accused the Board members appointed by Congress to look after the state body of “not coming on the ground” to get a firsthand view” of what is really happening but making decisions without the proper background and appreciation of the problems faced daily by the workers.

“I am getting tired – trust me. Too much of nonsense going on in this place here with this incompetent Board. This thing is getting serious,” she remarked.

The employee also took issue with a directive issued by the board to cut-off overtime for workers.

She said that this decision does not make any sense especially in the section of Gravel & Concrete that deals with the pouring of Ready Mix concrete to customers.

“As a matter of fact in the Concrete Department any time they work overtime the customers do pay for the overtime so I don’t know where (name of Board member withheld) and them getting their statistics from,” she told THE NEW TODAY.

She called on Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell to stop sitting down but to “get up and see what is happening” at Gravel & Concrete.

She also labelled some of the top managers at the company “as square pegs in round holes” and nothing but “a waste of time” on the job.

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