Hundreds of Wales, West Bank Demerara cane cutters continue to register their frustration against the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) non-payment of severance and have once again picketed the estate, this time calling for the intervention of President David Granger and his Cabinet members.
During another protest on Monday, the workers noted that the Head of State and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had committed their support to the sugar industry in the run-up to the 2015 General and Regional Elections. The workers once again complained that Agriculture Minister Noel Holder never met with them at the estate to address their concerns.
“No Minister never come and meet with we as yet, onto now,” the workers collectively expressed.
“The industry a bully we; but they want we to work but we [don’t want to work at Uitvlugt], we want money. We want the Agriculture Minister and Moses Nagamootoo, we want Granger – all ah dem to intervene in this matter,” Neil Mosely explained, an estate employee who had 25 years of service in the industry.
“I would like the President to look into the sugar workers. We are the hardest working class of people… they in seat and they never look into the sugar workers and say they don’t have money – shame to de Government [for saying] they don’t have money to pay couple sugar workers,” exclaimed Titus Thomas, who said he served the industry for well over 30 years.
The Agriculture Ministry, however, is contending that all workers who wanted severance payment were already paid but the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers (GAWU) had deemed the Ministry’s announcement as misleading.
The workers are holding out that they must be paid. They are demanding that they be paid severance on the basis that they cannot be compelled to travel 22 miles from their point of origin.
Government confirmed the end of sugar operations at Wales Estate, citing cost as the main factor for closure.