By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President of the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Komal Chand is of the view that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is like a headless chicken without a new Board of Directors.
He noted that after the resignation of the last chairman who became the new Chief Executive Officer, the Board functions with a mere Body and no head.
Chand expressed these sentiments at the Enmore Martyrs’ Day Rally yesterday (June 16) at the Monument site. He called for the appointment of a new board immediately which is long overdue.
He highlighted that there has been numerous troubling developments unfolding which is not in the interest of the industry.
Chand also called for the release of all EU monies by the government that is intended for the sugar industry. The GAWU Head reiterated that the turnaround of the industry lies in the hands of the management and workers.
He explained that the Enmore Martyrs’ struggles have contributed to a better working class in Guyana and this needs to be protected even though many challenges lie ahead, citing the political disharmony that has progressed from 2012 in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar in his response said that the life of the old Board of GuySuCo comes to an end within a month and a new Board will be installed as it works to bring the industry to its former glory.
The President highlighted that Government has been releasing all of the EU monies intended for the industry and billions more to make sugar more viable.
The President also invited the GAWU President to sit on the new Board to ensure the rights of the workers are being championed and they are not short changed in anyway by the Board.
The President also spoke about the job losses that are taking place in the region; however, he said his Government is doing everything it can to ensure workers are not under pressure and without a job.
The President blamed the changes in the world market for the problems the sugar industry is facing and noted that it has nothing to do with the management.
Many turned out to celebrate the sacrifices that the Enmore Martyrs’ made 66 years ago that has been credited to better working conditions in Guyana.
Enmore Martyrs’ Day is in remembrance of the five sugar workers who were shot and killed on June 16, 1948, by colonial police, while they were demonstrating for better working conditions.
Lallabagee Kissoon, 30, was shot in the back; 19-year-old Pooran was shot in the leg and pelvis; Rambarran died from bullet wounds in his leg; Dookhie died in hospital later that day; and Harry died the following day from severe spinal injuries. These men, through the years, became known as the Enmore Martyrs.
I believe the Board of Directors should be voluntary positions. There are many Guyanese who should payback this Company for the benefits they and their parents, grand parents received. I believe there are countless who will gladly jump on this opportunity. There are many in the Diaspora who were trained by this institution. perhaps they should also be considered to sit on this Board.