GuySuCo paid over $80.1M in severance pay- PM Nagamootoo
Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo on Friday disclosed that GY$80, 155, 000 were paid to 93 sacked workers from the Wales Sugar Estate on October 14, 2016.
Nagamootoo was delivering his remarks on the 2017 Budget, in the absence of the Opposition side of the house who walked out after the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo’s presentation.
The Prime Minister outlined that the monies were expected to be paid in May, 2016, however, it was blocked by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) via a court order. The workers were then urged to submit a petition if they want to go against the order and eventually won the battle in September.
His comments came following remarks by the political opposition over the course of the debate that that the government is stifling the sugar workers and by extension, the sugar industry.
“How do we kill a patient who is already on life support…how do you kill a patient if we inject $12B just a few months after we came into office…it was a bailout and yet they say we are killing sugar…we give another $11B. $23B was injected in one year into the sugar industry to keep the jobs of the sugar workers while we look at alternatives to take them out of a meltdown” Nagamootoo said.
It must be noted that President of GAWU is a Peoples Progressive Party/Civic’s Member of Parliament.
$9B is budgeted for the sugar industry in 2017.
The Government in January announced that it will be closing the Wales sugar Estate and merge the Wales and Uitvlugt estates at the end of 2016. It stated that this is necessary to ensure the viability of the industry.
It was noted that the land will be used for other diversification projects including cattle rearing for dairy purposes, orchard crop cultivation and aquaculture.