Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called on the Guyana Government to honour its obligations to thousands of sugar workers who had their services terminated by the Guyana Sugar Corporation by ensuring that they are paid immediately.
He adopted this position even though he expressed little faith in the government reversing its decision to close sugar estates.
“I pointed out, even when I spoke at Wales, about how it would affect people from both parties, of every race. Those workers don’t know what will happen next year. And therefore, (since) government has taken this irreversible decision, we are demanding that they pay the workers their severance immediately, urgently, that this is the law and the calculations be accurate.”
He said that the parliamentary opposition will continue to engage the workers until they get their rightful benefits.
“I was in the sugar belt last weekend and I had a meeting with many workers from Canje and Skeldon and I’ll be meeting with workers from Wales and Enmore and the other factories in the New Year. But their biggest concern seems to be about what they are told about how they will get their severance and many of them are dissatisfied with the calculations.”
Jagdeo related that, he has since asked a legal team and labour unions to visit the estates and advise the workers on their rights under the labour laws. He revealed that this legal team will be composed of former Attorney general Anil Nandlall, as well as other opposition Members of Parliament who happen to be lawyers.