Uitvlugt factory workers down tools


A number of workers attached to the Uitvlugt factory on the West Coast of Demerara downed tools Wednesday morning to protest “the growing inefficient functioning of the factory,” the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) reported.

The Union said the workers belong to both the GAWU and the NAACIE.

Workers reported that muddied canes are being delivered to the factory because of a non-functioning washing system which removed, to a great extent, the mud.

Apart from that, GAWU said the factory is suffering from severe and several defects. The Union stated that it had earlier warned that at Uitvlugt no spares were procured and worn out components were lubricated and reinstalled during the mid-year out-of-crop period.

The workers said they have raised these issues with several managers but nothing was done.

“The lethargic attitude of some managers is very upsetting to the workers,” GAWU stated.

They pointed out that some difficulties experienced last Saturday evening (September 12) were not resolved until the next morning.

According to GAWU, Uitvlugt is now in its fifth week of operations and has already seen some 168 hours lost due to breakdown.

GAWU said that it has been highlighting the declining performance of the industry’s factories though there were concerted attempts, in recent times, to boost the factory operations department of the Corporation.

“It was felt that at least some improvement would have been seen by those who were held out as being most capable, this alas was not the case.

“And, it is the industry and by extension the workers who continue to suffer,’ GAWU stated.

Arising from the workers’ protest, a meeting is scheduled between representatives from GAWU and NAACIE and the Estate’s Management to seek to iron out the difficulties which have arisen and contributed to the protest action.

GAWU said it was assured that the Corporation has taken the workers concerns seriously and will seek to get to the bottom of the issues.

“We believe it is through the collaborative efforts of the workers and their organisations and the management that solutions can be found and progress can be had,” the Union stated.

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