Sugar workers return to work as GAWU promises to investigate issue of dismissed employees

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The over 380 workers attached to Estates on the East Coast Demerara who downed tools on Tuesday, (February, 10) following the dismissal of 15 cane harvesters, returned to work on Wednesday.

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) stated that the workers were dismissed for inadequate application of fertilizer to several fields at the Felicity and LBI estates; this then led to the strike by employees.

Their return to work however is as a result of a meeting between their union –the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) and GuySuCo, where it was agreed that GAWU officials would inspect the fields to verify the claims made by the Company. The inspection will take place on February 17.

President of GAWU, Komal Chand told iNews that after the field inspection, discussions will continue with GuySuco. He explained that the inspection was requested by the aggrieved workers, since they are disputing GuySuco’s claims.

In the meantime, the situation concerning the dismissed employees remains the same.

The sugar corporation in a media release earlier in the week stated that the behaviorof the workers is unacceptable since they have adequate experience in the application of fertilizer.

The Corporation said it expends annually approximately $2B to import fertilizer, “and finds it totally unacceptable that fertilizer that is intended to nurture the cane plants could not be applied to them in the stipulated amount.”

The company also attributed this unethical practice to the low cane yields and stunted cane growth being experienced at the East Demerara Estate.