LETTER: Similar support should have been offered to sugar workers

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Dear Editor,

I have been following closely the developments regarding the RUSAL workers who, I believe, are rightly standing up for what they deserve. The actions by the foreign company have no place in contemporary Guyana and I have recognized that several voices of condemnation have been raised.

I noticed too what can be seen as a very proactive approach by the Government which has publicly stated that it stands with the workers on the matter. This is a most welcome position by the Administration which has committed to going at great lengths to ensure that the workers are protected.

While I am happy about those developments, at the same time, I cannot help but recognise the differing approach to workers’ matters by the Government. I cannot recollect the Administration taking such a strong position regarding the teachers who eventually took strike action to get what they correctly deserved.

Similarly, the Administration’s silence regarding the troubles that beset thousands of sugar workers and their families is dishearteningly deafening. On that score, I saw the Government providing hampers to the affected RUSAL workers but have not seen similar wisdom to assist our sugar workers who, according to the Guyana Times, are now forced in one area to pick wild vegetables and catching fish in order to have a meal.

I hope that the Government will remain resolute in defence of the RUSAL workers but in the same vein it needs to demonstrate an even handed approach to workers who are all Guyanese and who justifiably deserve the assistance of the State.

Yours faithfully,

Patricia Persaud

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