The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) is accusing one of the major unions representing sugar workers of attempting to sabotage the sugar industry.
In a statement on Friday evening, GuySyuCo expressed disappointment with the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) which it said organised a number of strike action during the past two weeks.
“One would have thought that the cries from the Union about keeping the doors of the Corporation open would be supported by corresponding behaviour; however, sadly, this request is not reflected in its behaviour,” the Corporation said.
Chronicling the events, GuySuCo said employees from the Rose Hall Estate were on strike on Monday September 18, 2017, demanding to cut and stack canes for bell loading, while there were 120 punts of canes on the ground to be loaded by the bell loaders.
Further, the statement added that the area where they were working was not bell loader-friendly due to the high dam beds and they were well aware of this. The strike lasted one day.
On Tuesday September 19, 2017, employees at Albion Estate were on strike expressing dissatisfaction to the Corporation’s inability to pay wages on time.
“This strike was called even though the Corporation informed GAWU and other stakeholders that the payment would have been delayed and continued to provide constant updates,” GuySuCo said.
The workers were paid on Wednesday after a request was made for monies from the Government and was provided.
Also on September 19, 2017, another group of employees from Blairmont Estate were on strike for poor burning of canes.
Further, on September 20, 2017,employees from Rose Hall Estate were on strike, claiming that they were told that payment of their wages will not be made on the said day as was promised which was not true.
On September 21, 2017, employees from Skeldon Estate and Albion Estate called a strike over obstacle payment and confirmation from management that wages will be paid on September 22, 2017, respectively.
Today, employees from Skeldon Estate, started its only crop for the year, again took strike action for the second day demanding to be paid obstacle payment, although they did not complete task given to them, GuySuCo said.
Also today, employees from Uitvlugt Estate were on strike, claiming that they were informed by their Union (GAWU) that no wages will be paid today and the strike continued even after being informed otherwise.
The Corporation deemed the strikes “a systematic plan by GAWU to frustrate efforts to achieve the targets for this crop and that of the industry,” noting that continuation of this attitude will not help the industry to become competitive.
The Corporation is encouraging employees to examine the state of the industry as well as the response from the Union and to come to a determination as to whether they will support their employer to ensure a successful Second Crop.