GAWU, NAACIE appeal CJ’s ruling on closure of East Demerara & Rose Hall estates

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The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union – GAWU – and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees – NAACIE – have appealed the Acting Chief Justice’s denial of their application to quash the Government’s move to close the East Demerara and Rose Hall Estates.

Chief Justice acting, Roxane George-Wiltshire on November 10th, 2017 denied the union’s application to quash the decision to close the estates.

In a statement to the media, the unions contended that the Chief Justice erred in her determination to deny the application.

GAWU and NAACIE said they will soon be filing submissions for the Appeal Court to consider the matter expeditiously.

In its initial application at the High Court, the unions contended that the decision to close the estates was improper and that there were insufficient consultations spearheaded by the government with stakeholders.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, the unions are asking the high court to order the State to pay damages to the former sugar workers at the Wales Estate.

The unions argue that GuySuCo, by virtue of several articles of the Constitution is bound to provide suitable alternative employment or income support in lieu of work to the displaced workers for the rest of their working life.

“We have also sought that the affected workers receive a pension equivalent to what they would have received had they been employed by GuySuCo,” they noted.

The Unions have argued that sugar workers have a fair expectation of employment until they attain pensionable age.

Notwithstanding these developments, the government has established a Special Purpose Unit to handle the divestment of assets belonging to GuySuCo with the ultimate aim to diversify and privatise the sugar industry.

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