Enmore residents, including children protest impending closure of Estate
Residents of the Community of Enmore this morning (Tuesday, May 23, 2017) protested the impending closure of the estate.
Lasting for almost an hour, the residents commenced a march organised by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), in the vicinity of the Enmore sugar factory and culminated at the Enmore Blossom Scheme Playground – a distance of about two miles.
The participants including sugar workers, housewives, young people, pensioners, shopkeepers, and others braved the rain to show their dissatisfaction with the Administration’s move to close Enmore/LBI Estate at year-end.
The protestors held placards while shouting “No to Closure” and at times sang along to Bob Marley’s Get up, Stand up and ‘Who the cap fits’, as well as the popular trade union song – Solidarity Forever.
Also in attendance were President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana, Carvil Duncan and representatives of NAACIE, along with the officials from GAWU.
According to GAWU, Tuesday’s activity along with others across the sugar belt indicate that the people are doggedly determined to have the short-sighted plans on sugar reviewed and recalled.
The Union said it is disconcerting that closure is being considered at Enmore/LBI taking into account the investments in recent times.
“Significant sums were expended to construct the packaging plant through which GuySuCo receives the best prices for its sugar, according to the Sugar Commission of Inquiry (CoI). Furthermore, over the years, GuySuCo spent large sums infield conversion to facilitate mechanised operations,” GAWU outlined.
The workers are calling on the Administration and the GuySuCo to engage the Unions in the sugar industry in meaningful dialogue to address the challenges the industry faces.
GAWU holds that the three (3) meetings with members of the Government were merely a façade meant to pull the wool over the eyes of the Guyanese people and more so the sugar workers.
It was noted that the Enmore/LBI Estates, at this time, employs some 2,200 workers.