Police break-up protest by Uitvlugt sugar workers

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The protest action by workers of the Uitvlugt Estate factory continued on Thursday morning but Police stepped in and caused them to disperse.

The workers are protesting to demand appropriate measures at the factory to ensure physical distancing and for all work to end before the curfew begins at 18:00h.

“The workers who continued their legitimate and peaceful protest actions were today confronted by a contingent of police officers who instructed them to end their activity.

“We find this development to be most disturbing as it seems attempts are being made to trample on the rights of the workers,” the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) noted in a press statement Thursday.

“We certainly hope that security services are being utilized to minimize workers voices as they seek to have their rights and gains respected,” GAWU stated.

The Police action followed a meeting between the Union and the Uitvlugt estate management early Thursday.

According to GAWU, at the of the engagement, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) remained adamant that the workers affected be organized in two (2) shifts, though the second shift would conclude into the curfew period.

The factory workers downed tools on Wednesday after the estate demanded that they work two shifts which runs from 06:00h to 14:00h and then 14:00h to 22:00h.

“It appeared that the workers and Union’s concerns regarding the difficulties the workers faced on their return home during the curfew period have been ignored or does not attract the Corporation’s concern,” GAWU stated.

The GAWU called for better sense to prevail and for an amicable and workable arrangement.

“We believe that sober and sincere consideration of the workers’ views should be pursued and recognition paid to the harm they can well face at this time,” GAWU stated.

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