By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – President of the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), Komal Chand has confirmed that approximately 500 cane harvesters at the Uitvlugt Estate, West Coast Demerara are continuing their fourth day of strike action.
He told iNews during a telephone interview on Thursday, September 03, 2015 that the employees are demanding better wages since some of the cane fields are in a deplorable state.
The strike commenced on Monday, August 31 and to date the Union and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) have failed to reach a compromise on the issue.
However, Chand explained to iNews that the two sides intend to meet again on Friday, September 04 in an attempt to resolve the matter.
“Cane cutters are on strike over pricing…because of the bad conditions of the field…they are requesting higher pay than what is offered. So they are on strike so the Company and the Union are going to make another effort tomorrow to see if this can be resolved…They [cane fields] are occupied with lots of vines…they haven’t cleaned the fields,” Chand told iNews.
GuySuCo recently noted that this is the worse strike to have hit the Uitvlugt Estate and that the cane harvesting gangs are “demanding exorbitant payment for obstacles in the field.”
According to GuySuCo, a field visit was conducted on Monday by both Central/Local Management and Central/Local Union in order to resolve the dispute.
“This action by the workers has brought sugar production at that location to a halt. In the meanwhile, the condition of the canes burnt and the fields continue to deteriorate,” GuySuCo noted.