September 26, 2016

Sugar workers unfazed by GuySuCo’s threat to halt crop

Workers across the sugar belt are unfazed by the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) threat to put an

GAWU President Komal Chand

GAWU President Komal Chand

immediate end to the current crop if they continue with their industrial action.
During an interview with Guyana Times, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) President Komal Chand opined that the workers will continue to stand up for its rights, noting that it is not financially viable for the Corporation to pursue such measures.
“GuySuCo would be disadvantaged and it would be very costly for them to do that… we see it very difficult for the Sugar Corporation to implement,” Chand posited.
He explained that by bringing the current crop to a halt, it will interfere with the Corporation’s budgetary planning and stream of revenue.
Chand also pointed out that if the Corporation were to actually stop the current crop, there would be overgrown canes left for the next crop which would exceed the capacity of the functioning estates across the country.
The GAWU President maintained that the workers will only stop their protests and strike actions if GuySuCo comes to the bargaining table within a reasonable timeframe to clarify its plans for the future of the sugar industry following the closure of the Wales Estates.
He also wants to negotiate the 2015 wages increases.
“The Government has to come and said what the way forward with the industry is. The Government did not bother with the Commission of Inquiry with respect to the closure of Estates, which recommended that there must be no closure of estates; with so much people working with GuySuCo, some get indirect support from the industry – The Government has not been responsible in coming out and stating its position,” Chand explained.
The GAWU President also disclosed that he heard rumours that GuySuCo intends to shutdown the Rose Hall Sugar Estate and he is calling on the Government to offer clarity.
Following a series of strike actions organised by the sugar workers’ Union, GuySuCo issued a statement making it clear that it will halt the current crop if the striking continues.
“Such behaviour by the Union would leave the Corporation with no alternative but to put a halt to the current crop until the Union gives its fullest commitment to allowing the crop to proceed unhindered,” the company had stated.

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