The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) on Friday threw its support behind a picketing exercise conducted by retired employees of the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) outside of the LBI Community Centre.
The pensioners this publication was informed are against, what they say, is a new requirement by GuySuCo to have their pensions sent to the commercial banks for payments.
Prior to this new arrangement it was outlined that pensioners would uplift their pensions weekly, and in some cases monthly, from a number of centres close to where they reside.
This arrangement has reportedly been in place for decades now.
The pensioners are strongly contending that the change in the payment mechanism places additional burdens on them.
“For instance, they would be required to travel to the nearest bank to collect their pension sums which for some of them is a very meagre amount to begin with. For those pensioners who do not have bank accounts, we need not explain the travails one has to go through now-a-days to open an account. Some pensioners have shared with us they lack certain essential pre-requisites like TIN certificates, which we should not forget one has to pay for to obtain; or they may reside with their children and, therefore, would not have a proof of address.
“Some even have the real difficulty of having sufficient sums to satisfy the minimum balance to open a bank account. This new arrangement is being imposed in circumstances of rising crime where the aged and pensioners are also vulnerable, a factor to consider and not to be easily dismissed” said GAWU.
GAWU said further that “it is indeed saddening that GuySuCo has chosen to overlook these realities that the pensioners, some in their 70’s, and 80’s face and encounter” while calling on GuySuCo, “to alleviate and not aggravate the challenges of its former workers on whose contributions we gratefully stand.”