The Guyana Oil Company (Guyoil) since its formation in 1976 has been among the very few autonomous state corporations that has consistently made a profit each year of its operations. It also has the unique distinction of paying company employees a bonus each year of its existence without missing a break.
The question that has always been on the lips of Guyoil employees was not whether there will be a bonus or not, but rather how much will it be. Would it be two, three or four weeks?
To read the announcement that Guyoil would not be paying a bonus nor a salary increase for this year to the employees was a real disappointment. The payment of the bonus based on the profitability of the company each year has created a legitimate expectation in the minds of each employee and will serve as a major disincentive if not paid.
Guyoil is an autonomous state entity and as such it can independently pay bonuses outside of any other Public Service agreement. However, Guyoil has always been treated as a political football. When it suits the government it is an autonomous entity as in the case when it refuses their application for duty-free concession on vehicles because of the said autonomy but when it comes to higher wages and bonuses they can only get what public servants receive because that is now their convenient classification.
In this time of Covid, it is more than a legitimate expectation of the employees to receive a bonus, it is the responsible and humane thing to do especially in light of Guyoil continuing to be a highly profitable State Enterprise. The bonus should be paid forthwith.