Govt needs to apprehend sugar confusion – GAWU

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Dear Editor,

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), like many Guyanese and even non-Guyanese, have been following through press reports what seems to be heightening animosities between the GuySuCo and the NICIL-SPU. Our Union cannot offer a comment on the veracity of the matters disclosed through various press reports though we believe the facts of the situation could easily be substantiated by the reality.

We, however, cannot ignore the underlying problem and the consequences it would have for the sugar industry.  The relations between the two (2) bodies charged with managing the sugar industry seems to be characterized by acrimony and discord, and has now, seemingly, reached a sad point, where, from all appearances, salvos are being traded in the media.

The airing of the disagreements in the public, we believe, cannot be helpful to the industry’s cause at this time. At this point in time, when the livelihoods of thousands of workers stand in the balance, and the Guyanese people’s assets have been essentially mortgaged to secure the $30B financing, the confusion that reigns cannot be encouraging. 

The apparent infighting between the two (2) sugar management bodies, in our view, has to be laid squarely at the doorstep of the Government. The Administration, through its own indecision, has, in effect, allowed the situation to reach this sad point. Our Union, from press reports, also recognized that there seems to be some degree of confusion within the Administration regarding the sugar industry. That, it seems, has now spilled over into the industry’s management and which will not help in confidence building and commitment, essential elements for success.

Importantly, too, the Government needs to make up its mind regarding the Corporation’s Board of Directors; something which the Agriculture Minister promised would have been settled some weeks ago. The need for a proper, competent and capable leadership of the GuySuCo cannot be understated, especially, at this time, when expectedly huge sums are being borrowed by the sugar company for its re-capitalisation, among other things. We do not need a repeat of what we have seen in the last three (3) years, as the evidence has clearly demonstrated that it was not helpful.

At this time, the GAWU reiterates that situation cannot be allowed to continue the way it is as it is not in the interest of anyone, especially the workers. The GAWU calls on the Government to apprehend the sad situation that is prevailing. It is time to end the tug-of-war!

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