Affected employees to receive 75% of salary during rebuilding process
…“Mr Gafoor is always fair’’ – employees
Six days after a catastrophic fire ruined almost 40% of the Gafoors Houston Complex, Georgetown, that company’s Executive Chairman Sattaur Gafoor on Sunday met with his over 500 employees to discuss the way forward as he prepares to rebuild.
The chairman met with staff of each department at the Huston Complex, to discuss a range of issues regarding the future of the company and its employees. At one of the departmental meetings, Gafoor stated clearly that he considered the company’s biggest asset to be his employees and assured them that their continued employment is guaranteed. While some employees have been reassigned to other Gafoors locations, others will be paid 75 per cent of their salaries and will be given one bag of rice until they are able to resume work.
In an interview with Guyana Times Gafoor said his decision to give a 75% honorarium to his displaced staff, was to ensure he shows loyalty to those who dedicated their time and effort to the company over the years.
Meanwhile, the business magnate noted that the complex is opened for business following the blaze; however, there has been a significant decline in sale. “When you have a fire, it’s not only that the goods are lost, you lose also the essence of time, meaning that the momentum that you would have had, to some extent is lost. People are yet to understand that we’re open for business again. So that’s what I meant by saying we’ve lost a momentum of sales,” Gafoor said.
Another challenge highlighted by Gafoor is the fact that some suppliers are refusing to engage him following the blaze, presumably out of fear they will not be paid promptly for commodities. “What is surprising, is some of the companies with whom we have business, refuse to speak with us even, for fear that they may not be paid. But as a matter of fact, what we’ve been doing is preparing invoices and paying them in advance to allay that fear that they may have, that we may not pay them,” he explained.
Meanwhile, scores of other employees of the company expressed satisfaction with the decision taken by Gafoor.
“Mr Gafoor is always fair. I thank God for him because I doubt any other employer would be so fair to us. Even while the building was burning, all Mr Gafoor and his wife kept talking about was how they’re going to maintain all the employees. They’ve left no stone unturned to provide for us and ensure no one is out of a job,’’ was the remark of one employee. The popular Gafoors Shopping Complex located at Houston, Greater Georgetown, went up in flames on Monday, May 9, 2016, as workers were leaving work for the day. Reports are that the fire started about 15:00h in Bond Three, which contained fishing equipment.
Despite valiant attempts by firefighters from the Guyana Fire Service to contain the blaze, the fire quickly engulfed the building.