Letter: To what extent GuySuCo and GAWU co-operating to turn around industry?

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Dear Editor,

Finally, this nation has heard of some good news from GuySuCo. Mr Sasenarine Singh, the CEO, stated that the company has surpassed its sales target of sugar and molasses for the first half of 2021 by $734 million even though there was a shortfall in production. GuySuCo had set a target of 42,609 metric tons of sugar for the first crop but was only able to produce 29,650 metric tons (29650/42609=69.6%) – but according to Singh, the corporation still raked in $5.9 billion.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the company on this achievement. It is a small step towards paying off the company’s monumental debt of $10.5 billion to Guyana, which the present Government has lent GuySuCo since taking office in August 2020.

In an earlier statement, Mr Singh lamented that only an average of 70 per cent of the canecutters are opting to access employment across the six estates and that mechanical harvesters were becoming mandatory to complete the workforce.

This, it can be supposed, does not have the approval of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union, GAWU, which represents the canecutters. Question: To what extent are GuySuCo and GAWU co-operating in order to turn around the industry? A daily average of 30 per cent absenteeism from any workforce is enough to have devastating effects on any industry, especially one which has been a huge financial burden on Guyana for many years. GAWU needs to ensure that more of their members commit to the effort needed, an effort which could have facilitated GuySuCo’s target fulfilment.

Hopefully, for the second crop, GAWU will be able to reduce the level of absenteeism among its members and assist GuySuCo in achieving its target of 54,811 MT. This target is achievable but only if all stakeholders contribute fully.

With regards,
Jonathan Yearwood