Sugar workers protest President’s Office for increase in wages

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Close to 200 sugar workers from the Albion, Blairmont and Uitvulgt estates held a peaceful protest outside the Ministry of the Presidency on Vlissengen Road in Georgetown Tuesday, yet again calling for an increase in wages.

The protesters held a banner which stated that the President is discriminating against sugar workers by not granting an increase in wages since the APNU+AFC Government took office in 2015.

The workers have been asking for a 15 per cent increase since 2014.

With the support of the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU), the sugar workers called for fairness, equity and justice.

The Union’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine said “sugar workers are calling on President Granger to address the issue of wages and salary increase for them.

“Since he took office as President up to today sugar workers have not received a cent increase, despite they have campaign that they will give 20% increase per year.”

Narine said sugar workers submitted a petition signed by thousands of workers to the President last year for increase wages but there has been no response from the Head of State.

“We sent it to the President, the President said he sent it to Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for advice. We are informed that GuySuco did respond, we write him [President] again and he said that he has sent it to Minister Holder and that we will hear from Minister Holder.

General Secretary of GAWU Seepaul Narine

“It has been a long time now and we haven’t heard a single word from Minister Holder nor has the President said anything back to us on this matter,” Narine said.

President Granger during the current campaign trail stated that he understands the suffering and plight of sugar workers and wants the industry to be profitable.

Narine highlighted that they too would like to see this happen, however, it would not be possible without a motivated workforce.

“If he cares so much why is he failing to address the issue?”

“We deserve an increase like anyone else, every state sector employees, except those in GuySuCo they are being discriminated against not s single cent increase under his presidency,” Narine stated.

The union representative indicated that the cost of living has gone up and workers are barely surviving.

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