By Kizzy Coleman
Workers across the sugar belt in Guyana will down their tools one day per week in solidarity with their colleagues who face an uncertain future with the imminent closure of the Wales Sugar Estate.
Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) President Komal Chand said while cane harvesting would be taking place within the various sugar estates, workers have agreed to down tools to address three main issues affecting the workers of the Wales Sugar Estate.
“Workers are committed to downing their tools to address three main issues: the first issue being that persons are seeking to engage once again in collective bargaining; secondly, workers need to have their [Annual Performance Incentive] API disputes settled and thirdly, to provide solidarity with the Wales workers,” Chand explained.
These measures would result in a halt to sugar production in Guyana which could have a drastic impact on the current crop and more significantly, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Since the announcement was made that the Wales Sugar Estate would be closed, workers of the Estate, several workers unions, and civil society bodies, along with the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), have launched a series of actions to combat this decision by the Government.
The Opposition had stated that by closing operations at the Estate, the Government would be affecting the livelihood of the workers.