There will be no dialogue concerning the sugar workers’ 2015 Annual Production Incentives (API) or other discussions with the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) as long as the “one day per week protest action” is maintained by the Union.
This is according to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) which stated that GAWU has once again misled its membership into activities that only further deplete the production and productivity of the sugar industry as well as denied workers and their families a ‘normal livelihood’ since the continued weekly work stoppages result in reduced pay, as well as loss of the regular weekly incentives.
Additionally, GuySuCo has declared that if the one day per week stoppage is found to be “aggravating the financial position of the Corporation”, the crop will be stopped and the operations will not resume until an assurance is given by the Union that this stoppage will cease.
According to a media statement from the sugar entity, it has noted the ‘continued negative stance’ taken by GAWU with the Union’s President, Komal Chand, contending that the Corporation is issuing threats rather than sitting down with the Union to discuss issues.
GuySuCo maintains that GAWU has been repeatedly told that until a roadmap is developed, there can be no framework to engage in negotiation on wages and salaries, and that either the API is “up for acceptance by the Union” or the parties move to the next level in keeping with the extant agreement, Arbitration.
“The Corporation at no time issued any threats to the Union but the real threat is that of GAWU, with its Tuesday protest action which is hampering the production drive and at the same time leading to additional costs being borne by the Corporation. This can only result in the Corporation sinking into a worse financial position than the one it is presently in…if in fact there is any threat perceived by GAWU it is to its waning influence on the workers, who are increasingly standing up to be counted on their own behalf,” the statement added.