Categorized | News, Regional

Sickout at CLICO

Employees protest ‘uncertain’ future

By Curtis Rampersad Publications Editor

A number of employees and agents of insurance company CLICO yesterday failed to report for duty, forcing several branches around the country to close early.

The agents, many of whom called in sick, were said to be protesting what they feel is an uncertain future with the largest insurance company in the Caribbean.

Their protest followed news earlier this week of a new framework agreement between Government and CL Financial, the parent company of CLICO.

The framework for the new agreement is currently before Cabinet and envisages that Government will recover the more than $20 billion it pumped into CLICO and CL Financial subsidiaries in 2009 after the insurance firm collapsed and its former chairman Lawrence Duprey approached the then-PNM administration for a financial rescue.

On Wednesday, former finance minister Gerald Yetming was re-elected CL Financial chairman when they group held its annual general meeting at the CLICO Box, Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

Shareholders and directors agreed to a 30-day extension of the agreement between Government and shareholders while Cabinet decides on the new accord.

This is where employees of CLICO are seeing a problem.

Government announced recently that CLICO will be shuttered and a new company, Atrius, will take its place.

CL Financial chairman Yetming told the Express by phone yesterday that the “good business” of CLICO would be transferred to Atrius and this seemed to have given agents some level of comfort with regard to job security.

But financial and Government sources have suggested with recent days that the State may be re-considering forming Atrius because of the large amount of capital it may still require.

One option that has been suggested is to sell CLICO to another insurance group.

Yetming suggested yesterday that this may have “created considerable insecurity in staff who had calmed down after 2009”.

Staff members calling in sick at CLICO branches would have been to show dissatisfaction over what agents feel is the uncertainty about the company’s future.

It could not be immediately determined yesterday how many agents and employees called in sick and how many of CLICO’s eight branches (excluding its head office in Port of Spain) were affected.

Contacted yesterday, company official Margaret Chow said CLICO preferred to not comment on the agents not showing up for work.

Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union president Vincent Cabrera referred enquiries to deputy vice president Mario Als who could not be immediately reached on his cell phone yesterday afternoon.

The union represents the interests of CLICO employees, Cabrera said.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Employees protest ‘uncertain’ future

By Curtis Rampersad Publications Editor

A number of employees and agents of insurance company CLICO yesterday failed to report for duty, forcing several branches around the country to close early.

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The agents, many of whom called in sick, were said to be protesting what they feel is an uncertain future with the largest insurance company in the Caribbean.

Their protest followed news earlier this week of a new framework agreement between Government and CL Financial, the parent company of CLICO.

The framework for the new agreement is currently before Cabinet and envisages that Government will recover the more than $20 billion it pumped into CLICO and CL Financial subsidiaries in 2009 after the insurance firm collapsed and its former chairman Lawrence Duprey approached the then-PNM administration for a financial rescue.

On Wednesday, former finance minister Gerald Yetming was re-elected CL Financial chairman when they group held its annual general meeting at the CLICO Box, Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

Shareholders and directors agreed to a 30-day extension of the agreement between Government and shareholders while Cabinet decides on the new accord.

This is where employees of CLICO are seeing a problem.

Government announced recently that CLICO will be shuttered and a new company, Atrius, will take its place.

CL Financial chairman Yetming told the Express by phone yesterday that the “good business” of CLICO would be transferred to Atrius and this seemed to have given agents some level of comfort with regard to job security.

But financial and Government sources have suggested with recent days that the State may be re-considering forming Atrius because of the large amount of capital it may still require.

One option that has been suggested is to sell CLICO to another insurance group.

Yetming suggested yesterday that this may have “created considerable insecurity in staff who had calmed down after 2009”.

Staff members calling in sick at CLICO branches would have been to show dissatisfaction over what agents feel is the uncertainty about the company’s future.

It could not be immediately determined yesterday how many agents and employees called in sick and how many of CLICO’s eight branches (excluding its head office in Port of Spain) were affected.

Contacted yesterday, company official Margaret Chow said CLICO preferred to not comment on the agents not showing up for work.

Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union president Vincent Cabrera referred enquiries to deputy vice president Mario Als who could not be immediately reached on his cell phone yesterday afternoon.

The union represents the interests of CLICO employees, Cabrera said.