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The Ministry of Agriculture is surprised by the protest action taken by some Wales sugar workers today who picketed the Ministry of the Presidency.

It has been reported that the workers, who are under the employ of GuySuCo are demanding severance instead of working at Uitvlugt.

The Ministry of Agriculture wishes to make it clear that GuySuCo has advised that ALL workers who had been declared redundant had accepted severance following the merging of the Wales and Uitvlugt operations and have been paid their severance IN FULL.

There is NO SEVERANCE PAYMENT OUTSTANDING.

This new and sudden demand for severance is most unreasonable and appears to be politically instigated. Extensive efforts were made to ensure continued employment of the Wales workers at Uitvlugt and this was successfully achieved. Further, transportation is being fully provided to Uitvlugt from the West Bank of Demerara and back. GuySuCo has stated that no worker is responsible for providing their own transportation.

As a pertinent example, workers who have been previously assigned to work at the Skeldon Estate are now working at Albion, a much further distance to travel, and have been doing so without any issue.

This purported issue of not wanting to work at Uitvlugt is disingenuous. The issue previously was being unemployed following the merger of the Wales and Uitvlugt factory operations. GuySuCo made every effort to ensure that the effect would be minimized only to now have a complete turnaround by some of the workers, who are being politically instigated to campaign for their employment to be terminated and for severance to be paid.

The Ministry of Agriculture wishes to reiterate that GuySuCo has advised that ALL the workers whose jobs had become redundant had been paid their severance in full.

The Ministry of Agriculture calls on the union leaders and their political handlers to act responsibly and not to instigate and misguide workers into manufacturing unrealistic and unreasonable demands. There is no option for workers who were offered alternative employment to now make demands for severance when no such offer is on the table and there is full and secure employment for them at Uitvlugt.

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