No wage increase, bonus for sugar workers – Holder

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Agriculture Minister Noel Holder says sugar workers may not benefit from wage increases or bonuses this year, due to the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) financial situation.

“GuySuCo doesn’t have funds. We would like GuySuCo to be able to benefit from the bonus public servants are benefitting from now, in terms of increases. But where will the funds come from?” Holder said during an interview with this publication.

“Funding has always been an issue. Funds were going to GuySuCo and all the estates, in a loss-making situation, have denied the (leeway) for spending for other parts of the Government. Now we’ve right-sized, funds are being released for other parts of the Government. And we’d like GuySuCo to do well enough so all the workers can (benefit)”.

Holder posited that with the necessary input, fully functioning factories, markets in the Caribbean Community (Caricom), white sugar and good prices for that sugar, GuySuCo can turn its fortunes around.

“The factories are old. It’s a question of getting the necessary (equipment) to retool them. That’s posing some challenges. But it’s not insurmountable (once) the funds are available. And there have been some delays in divesting the four estates that were closed. They were supposed to be divested and the funds made available to GuySuCo”.