The economic effects of the COVID-19 virus has impacted 21 workers of the Media 21 company.
On Thursday the company, which specialises in technical equipment rentals, sent its workers home on no-pay leave.
In a message to the workers’ Whatsapp group, chairman Peter Scoon wrote, “It is with a heavy heart I come to you with not so good news at this time.”
He went on to explain that due to the situation, the company lost a total of 16 jobs.
He said, “What this means for us is that the company has no immediate income coming in which will have a rippling effect for some months to come.”
He explained the decision had been taken to send them home with, “immediate effect.”
The workers were told that if there are any pop-up jobs they would be called out and paid per job.
One of the affected workers spoke with Guardian Media on the condition of anonymity.
He said what happened didn’t come as a surprise.
“To be honest when I hear the coronavirus hit, I tell myself we going to get hit the most or the hardest.”
He said with two children to take care of he had no plans of sitting down and waiting on a call for one-off jobs and was exploring other employment options.
But the company, through its general manager, Sean Mahabirsingh said it simply had no choice.
“Sixteen jobs booked for this month and as we got the first case it was a domino effect…it was ‘cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel’.”
He said in the spirit of goodwill the company would pay the staff for March, but he knows that the money could only go so far.
He assured that once things get better, whenever that may be, most of the staff will be called back.
“Even if we have to break up the bread to make sure every worker gets something, we will.”
However, he believes the industry would not catch itself for another four to six months.
He said similar companies were facing the same issue and suggested that maybe the entertainment industry should come together to figure out a way forward.