PPP supporters and sugar workers protest closure of sugar estates during President’s visit to Berbice
By Royan Abrams
Supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) along with workers from the various sugar estates in Berbice lined the corner of the street with placards, calling on President David Granger to rethink his decision to only keep three estates across the country. The Head of State was at the time making his way to the Indian Arrival Day celebration at Plantation Highbury on the East Bank of Berbice on Friday, May 05, 2017.
As hundreds of persons made their way to participate in the Indian Arrival Celebration, the protesters were heard chanting that they have no confidence in the ANPU/AFC Government as promises were made during the election campaign to retain all the sugar estates across the country, specifically in Berbice.
Speaking with reporters at the scene, PPP regional supervisor, Zamal Hussain related that the protest is a move by the party supporters and sugar workers to vent their frustration with the move by Government to close the Rose Hall Estate, and the loss of employment for many workers across the region.
“In fact, if the Rose Hall and Providence estates are closed, then we would see the area, this lower area economy will destabilise immediately, this area will become a ghost town, businesses will have to close their doors. What will happen with the workers who are laid off, how would they provide for their children, their family, how will they sent their children to school” he added.
According to the regional party supervisor, the protesters need answers to what will happen with the workers following the closure of the selected estates.
“We are awaiting the president, the president only announced the closure but we want to see what is the alternative and I only hope that this will not be another Wales fiasco whereby workers over 1,700 workers lose their jobs.”