By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has been forced to shovel out some $80M to sugar workers after it was revealed that the Guyana Sugar Company (GuySuCo) had not paid credit union dues for some six months.
On Monday June 15, scores of sugar workers flocked GAWU’s head office in High Street, Kingston Georgetown with the intention of withdrawing all of their savings from the Union and placing them elsewhere.
Reports indicate that on Tuesday more of the sugar workers returned, having lost confidence in GAWU, to safeguard and be vigilant about their hard earned cash.
GAWU’s President Komal Chand explained to iNews that the sugar company was still to pay over the $154M owed to the union for the workers savings; hence the Union sought the use of loans to facilitate the pay-outs to the disgruntled workers.
He explained too that in addition to the $154M, GuySuCo also owes GAWU’s credit union close to $30M in dues for the month of May, hence the total amount owed to GAWU now reaches well into $184M.
When asked how much of the monies were already returned to the workers, Chand explained that up until Wednesday June 17, the Union had repaid workers some $80M.
The APNU+AFC government approved a $3.8 billion bailout for the ailing GuySuCo to meet the shortfall from now to August given the fact that its income will only amount to US$1.6M and the expenditure will be US$5.7M.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon told a post cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, June 17, that 60 percent of the bailout is expected to be repaid to the government coffers.
According to Harmon, for August to December, 2015 GuySuCo will earn US$13.6M, but expenditure will be US$19.5M; therefore another bailout is expected to meet the shortfall.