Rose Hall estate begins to lay off sugar workers
Sugar workers are now contemplating their next move for 2018, after they have received letters from the management of the Rose Hall Estate informing them that they are no longer needed for work after December 29, 2017.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon recently said that the closure of the Rose Hall and Enmore Sugar Estates may take effect next year because systems are not yet in place for the post-shutdown period, however, the management of the estate began informing some workers that their posts will become redundant in the new year.
Field Supervisor in the Fertilising gang, Ramnarine Subramanian told News Room that he received his letter of one month’s notice on Wednesday afternoon titled: “Junior Staff Redundancy Notification”.
“Since I received this letter my brains not functioning…I never expect a day like this today that they can just give you a letter,” he said, pointing out that being laid off will have a major impact on him and his family.
Subramanian worked with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for some 15 years.
The letter stated that “the Corporation has given consideration to the option of you continuing in a similar job within the organization. However, there is no suitable vacancy to accommodate you. As such, the Corporation can no longer provide you with regular employment at Rose Hall Estate.”
Subramanian said he takes care of his father and sister and does not know where he will be working in the New Year since no alternative options were offered.
The Estate employs a total of 2,304 workers and the Field Supervisor disclosed that over 1,000 positions would have been made redundant thus far while a few workers will be moved to the Blairmont and Albion Estates.
While the letter alluded to severance pay, he is not sure when he can collect the money or how much will be disbursed.
News Room contacted President Guyana Agricultural and General Union (GAWU), Komal Chand who noted that some persons would have already received their severance pay as the process of making workers redundant is an ongoing process as the Estate wind down its activities.
On Monday, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) said they 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 10, 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 adding that they will soon be filing submissions for the Appeal Court to consider the matter expeditiously.
By 2020, GuySuCo aims to reduce sugar production to just three factories and with 10, 000 workers, which would be 6,000 less workers than it currently has. Most of the Corporation’s revenues have gone to pay wages and salaries.