TADCO staff now 50-strong

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Tobago Agribusiness Development Company (TADCO) now has 50 staff, after the company was restructured on September 30, 2023, when more than 60 workers lost their jobs after their contracts came to an end.

TADCO’s chairman Ricardo Alfred reported this on Wednesday as he appeared before the Joint Select Committee (JSC) on Local Authorities, Service Commissions and Statutory Authorities, including the THA.

Alfred said a full quota is yet to be achieved at the company.

“Based on the strategic plan, we’re looking at a total of 62 persons in terms of having a full complement. Right now, we are at 50 and we’re basically putting persons in positions that we need to have the company’s continuous operations.”

He said contrary to popular belief, the staff who lost their jobs in 2023 were not laid off.

“They were given a contract from 2020 that ended in 2023. The current board would have come and met this structure (in) which persons had contracts from 2020-2023, which expired in 2023, in September.”

He said the board had an HR audit done, found some gaps in terms of people’s qualifications not matching their job descriptions, and had moved to bring in qualified people instead.

“This current administration did not change it, we are just maintaining what was there. However, what we are doing now is engaging persons based on the existing company’s structure as it relates to the company’s strategic direction.”

He said the company was hoping to have a full complement soon.

“Currently, what we are doing right now is staggering the contracts. The benefit of this is reducing that huge gratuity bill…It is impossible to bring all the persons on at the same time, so we have them on a scheduled employment and then they do the interview process and then we would bring them on.”

He said the 50 were engaged from October 1 to the present.

When the audit was done in 2022, he said, it was discovered it was identified that a lot of claims to have a certain number of CXC subjects were false, and some had “a lot of credentials that nobody has ever seen.”