[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is accusing the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) of hoaxing its workers into strike action by peddling misinformation.
This is after GAWU indicated that sugar workers will be striking indefinitely as a result of the Company and GAWU’s inability to arrive at a consensus over the Annual Performance Incentive (API) bonus for workers.
The Corporation offered for every 85,000 tonnes sugar produced one day’s pay API. This equates to 2.7 days for the Corporation expected year’s production of 233,361 tonnes sugar.
GAWU rejected this offer and is instead pushing for day’s pay be set at 37,125 tonnes – this proposal would see workers being given six days pay as the API.
In a press release on Wednesday, GuySuCo stated that the Corporation on no less than four occasions over the last three months explained to the Union’s delegation the dire financial crisis facing the industry.
“It is no secret that the current total revenue is just enough to offset payment of wages and salaries to its employees,” the release added.
“As we approach the holiday season, we are all aware that workers are predisposed to earn in preparation for the holidays but they are confused with the misinformation being peddled. No doubt this misinformation is meant to incite the workforce,” noted the sugar company.
According to the statement, the Corporation was reliably informed that the Union’s local officer and it representatives were in the villages bordering the East Demerara Estates with the use of a loud speaker calling out the workers to strike for one week instead of the expected consultation on the Corporation’s offer.
“We saw this become a reality when the workers of that estate responded on Saturday with the cane harvesters withdrawing their labour. Further the Union representatives of Skeldon and Blairmont indicated to management that they would be proceeding on industrial action from Sunday, Blairmont harvesting reps were clear that they will be withholding their labour for the entire week.”
GuySuCo is requesting that the workers be allowed to continue to work, as Skeldon, Albion, and East Demerara have three weeks , Rose Hall four weeks and Blairmont two weeks remaining for the crop.
“Isn’t it good sense to allow these workers to resume their duties and earn as much as they can over the next 2-4 weeks at their respective estates…There comes a time when one will have to look at the reality and make a decision on which side of the fence they wish to sit: the side leading to destruction or the side working for sustainable survival of the industry and therefore security of employment.”