Saturday 4 April, 2020

'Port workers in Jamaica offered reduced pay as shipping declines'

File photo of a container ship.

File photo of a container ship.

Some port workers in Jamaica have been offered the option of either redundancy payments or reduced pay as work in the ports has declined with the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, reliable sources have informed Loop News.

Shipping, it was reported, has been significantly reduced.

When contacted by Loop News, the communications unit at the Port Authority of Jamaica said it was unable to confirm the reports as private operators directly hire workers in the Port of Kingston.

Meanwhile, a source told Loop News that workers were told that they could either be “paid off” or could accept payment for four days out of the five day work week.

The option selected by the worker who shared the information was to accept  payment for four days. 

In Jamaica, members of the manufacturing community have reported supply chain challenges with the outbreak, saying that they were hoping to source supplies from North America amid the fallout in China.

Shipments have been on the slowdown globally since the start of the spread of the coronavirus from Wuhan in China.

Factories in the Far East nation have been closed, with many unable to reopen because they do not have the requirements to reopen under safe conditions. Masks are said to be in short supply.

On Thursday morning, China reported 29 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus and 400 new cases. 

On Wednesday, a cruise ship was turned away from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands when one crew member was reported to have developed a fever and had been isolated.

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