GuySuCo loses $29.5M from strike at Skeldon Estate

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The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) has reported millions of dollars in losses from strike actions organised by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU).

In a statement Monday afternoon, the Corporation said from strike actions at the Skeldon Estate on September 21, 22 and 23, 2017 alone cost the state-owned entity G$29.5M which is the equivalent of 464 tonnes of sugar.

On the other hand, employees lost over G$4.3M, according to the corporation’s calculation.

The employees demanded to be paid obstacle payment, although they did not complete task given to them, GuySuCo said.

There were also strikes at Albion/Port Mourant, Blairmont, Rose Hall and Uitvlugt Estates. One of the reasons given by employees for striking was the late payment of wages for the week of September 15.

Additionally, GuySuCo said 375 cane harvesters from the Wales Estate, who were offered employment at the Uitvlugt Estate from January of this year, have not turned up for work since, pointing out that this resulted in them losing over G$100M in wages.

“It should be noted that some of these cane harvesters are now turning out to work at Uitvlugt Estate and are earning as much as G$4,200 per day,” the Corporation said.

The entity expressed concern with the way the union “attempts to frustrate the Corporation’s efforts to achieve the targets for the Second Crop and more critically to create an unmanageable degree of instability in the industry.” It added that this could possibly lead to the closure of the industry.

GuySuCo is urging sugar workers to cooperate with the body since its value chain is being affected every time there is a strike. The value chain include: sugar cane cultivation – planting and harvesting; sugar production – factory operations; logistics; marketing and sales; and services. Therefore whenever the cane planters, harvesters or other groups of employees withdraw their labour, the entire value chain is affected.

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