Sugar workers’ payments up-to-date

Senior officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) have confirmed that estate workers across the country have received their salaries for the week ending April 8, 2017.

The Government Information Agency (GINA) was made to understand that there was no need for workers to strike since Cabinet had approved $1B for the payments.

Senior Communications Specialist at GuySuCo, Audreyanna Thomas said, “All workers have been paid, some on Friday, others on Saturday… but they were all paid for the last week.”

Since assuming office, the coalition government has injected $32B to sustain the sugar industry. The industry is projected to require more than $18B to stay afloat through 2017.

There were uncertainties being circulated in the public domain about workers not being paid, and that this would possibly lead to a countrywide strike. However, the corporation refuted these rumours.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of GuySuCo, Errol Hanoman said that there has been a recent strike at the East Demerara Estate (Enmore) that was influenced by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) which claimed that GuySuCo may close the estate.

However, Thomas however explained that such information was never filtered through the corporation. “The government is actually still expected to make a decision with the future of the industry…” Thomas said if there was information released stating that an estate will be closed, that information will come directly from central government and the corporation has not heard of any such decision.

Government is still to pronounce on the way forward with the industry.

Meanwhile the option of diversifying the industry is taking centre stage. The government is exploring self sufficiency of workers through the means of diverse agricultural practices such as cattle ranching, orchards, dairy production and aquaculture.