Confusion prevails as Enmore sugar workers receive severance


By Devina Samaroo

Former sugar workers were a bit annoyed over the lack of coordination in the distribution of their severance at the Enmore Estate, East Coast Demerara on Monday, January 29, 2018.

Scores of retrenched employees flocked the staff compound to receive their packages but were told to collect a number from the guard and wait.

Former sugar workers outside the Enmore Staff Compound awaiting their severance.

With the gates locked tight, the former workers were forced to wait in the blazing afternoon sun until their numbers were called for them to enter the premises to collect their cheques.

When News Room arrived at the location, men and women were huddled under umbrellas or liming under trees with ticket stubs in hand waiting to hear further instructions.

One man told this publication that he lined up since before midday in order to secure the number “10”.

The distribution was slated to run from 13:00hrs to 15:00hrs but workers were concerned that there was no one present to coordinate how workers were allowed to go into the compound.

Some expressed concerns that workers are cutting ahead of their numbers and allowed to collect their severance while others remained outside.

Other workers questioned the time allotted for the exercise, noting that not much workers will be served within the space of two hours.

Despite the confusion, the former workers battled the heat and one by one, they squeezed their way through the crowd – excited to finally collect their monies.

As the crowd built up, the former workers became more boisterous with some intoxicated men creating a scene as they complained about the Government’s decision to downsize the industry.

Some of the former workers who spoke to the News Room said they felt disrespected that some will receive their full severance while the others will only get half.

A former sugar worker excited to finally receive his severance.

However, some of those workers who only collected 50% of the severance expressed great satisfaction having finally received their monies. They did, however, register their concerns about not knowing when they will receive the rest of their severance. They also questioned when they will collect their other benefits.

Some are anxious to invest the monies into a profitable business venture while others are unsure how to stretch the dollars to make it last. One retrenched worker told News Room that he will use the money to complete his house which is under construction.

The first batch of former employees who received their severance is factory workers. News Room was informed that the cane-cutters and other field workers will collect their severance on Tuesday and the distribution exercise will continue on Wednesday.

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