No API for sugar workers
In what is being described as most “unfair”, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has noted that sugar workers will not be receiving their Annual Production Incentive (API) for the year 2016.
In a statement on Wednesday, GAWU said, “no wage rise for 2015 and 2016 and no API in 2016 constitute a blatant assault on the 18,000 sugar workers and represent a most crude and cruel treatment of the workers.”
“Such measures, as myriad experiences have shown, will not augur well for the industry. The turnaround of the industry is not being promoted but an aggravation of the industry’s problems and, sadly, a degradation of the well-being of its employees, our fellow citizens, lives” the Union said.
This incentive to a section of the productive workforce continued after nationalisation which took place under the Administration of L.F.S. Burnham who assured the workers on Vesting Day – May 26, 1976 – that their “conditions of employment shall not be less favourable”.
The union alleged that the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) wrote to the Union seeking the basis of its claim.
GAWU, in response, pointed out that its claim is related to whatever quantity of sugar is produced, as is always, and no other factor.
Following, the GAWU’s response, the Corporation on November 24, 2016, engaged the Union in a session at which the corporation conveyed that the Company’s financial position precluded any API award. Furthermore, GuySuCo advised that its position was consistent with its no pay rise position this year (2016). In fact, last year, the Corporation did not increase workers’ wages and salaries, however, it awarded a mere 2.72 days’ pay as API.