GuySuCo projects a $13B loss for 2016; rules out wage increase
The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) has informed the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) that it did not have the monies required and was unable to award an increase in Wages and Salaries for 2016.
According to a statement from the sugar corporation, the company met with GAWU on Wednesday on Wages, Salaries and Fringe Benefits for 2016.
GuySuCo reiterated what was said at its September 29, 2016 meeting, that the company had made a loss of over G$16 Billion in 2015; and that the projected loss for 2016 and 2017 would be almost G$13 Billion and more than G$12 Billion respectively.
The Government had provided a subsidy to the tune of G$12 Billion in 2015 and G$9 Billion in 2016, in addition to a $3.5 Billion sought. The Union was also advised that in 2017, the Corporation would require a further subsidy of more than G$18 Billion against a backdrop of lower production and reduced market prices, resulting in lower revenue.
The Union and their representatives raised several matters pertaining to the Corporation’s capital investment programme, future diversification plans, and wage increases, among others which the Corporation’s delegation had referred to earlier.
The Corporation on the other hand enquired whether there would be any more strikes, since it was a requirement that the Union provided the Corporation with due notice of strike action.
“This would allow for better planning by managers to avoid wastage of canes, since if the canes were burnt and not sent to the factory within a specific time period, they would obviously be too stale to grind. The Union’s response was the intention of the Union was no business of GuySuCo” the Corporation said.
It noted that the union’s attitude is hardly one for fostering better relationship between the parties.
GuySuCo says it is in the middle of the Second Crop which has been affected negatively by the prolonged dry weather in the First Crop and strike action sees it missing a good opportunity for increasing production.
“Due to the strike action on October 17, 2016, six factories were not in operation. Factories are usually maintained on Mondays. This operation was affected in all factories, which means that maintenance had to be done on Tuesday October 18, 2016,for grinding to be resumed late on Tuesday” the company explained, noting that sugar losses across the industry resulting from the one day strike alone was approximately 202 tonnes. This is due primarily to the staling of canes. However, sugar loss due to total opportunity time, is approximately 1,500 tonnes.