Uitvlugt cane cutters demand fair week’s work
After working for just three days last week, cane cutters at the Uitvlugt Estate, West Coast Demerara are demanding that they are given a fair week’s work.
“Such reduced work in the cropping period is unusual recognizing that maximum efforts would, usually, be pursued to ensure the timely harvesting of canes,” the workers’ union GAWU said in a statement.
To press their demands, the workers protested on Monday morning.
“The situation at Uitvlugt is even more unusual as the factory is generally operating normally and, therefore, it appears, there was no reason to limit work to the cane cutters in the first place,” GAWU stated.
The Union said it was strange that despite the reduced workload, the factory was able to meet its production target. According to GAWU, the workers believe that this was because of preference given to the processing of the canes of farmers.
Usually, GAWU stated, the Sugar Corporation would plan its harvesting programme to ensure that there is balanced harvesting of canes from farmers and the estate.
The workers complained that they had to contend with a longer-than-usual out-of-crop period which was extended by an additional week and, at this time, they are eager to work recognizing they have many of life’s obligations to meet.
GAWU said it wrote GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Harold Davis, about the prevailing situation and urged that the workers be offered suitable, adequate work.
“We opined that such situation is in the interest of the workers and the Corporation.
“Indeed, the circumstances of last week [have] left a most bitter taste in the mouths of the workers who while have demonstrated their willingness to work have had their best of intentions sapped for unknown reason/s,” GAWU stated.