The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and GAWU on Friday reached an agreement that will see sugar workers receiving a one-off payment equivalent to five percent of six months of their earnings in 2019.
A release from GAWU noted that the agreement was reached following a meeting between Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; the Union’s General Council and members of its negotiating team, and officials of GuySuCo.
“Through the agreement reached the workers stand to benefit from some $200M in payments which expectedly would be paid soon,” the GAWU release noted.
According to GAWU, during the engagement, the Vice President expressed concern over the dispute between the Union and the Corporation holding the view it was not in the interest of either side.
He reminded of the government’s tangible commitment to the industry through the release of nine billion dollars ($9B) since the Irfaan Ali Administration took office in August 2020.
“Dr Jagdeo reiterated the Government’s commitment to revitalizing the sugar industry as he noted the significant damage inflicted by the past regime,” GAWU noted.
The Union, through its President Seepaul Narine, outlined the circumstances which led the issue to reach a boiling point. The GAWU President reiterated the Union’s commitment to examining any reasonable offer as it was not unmindful of the state of the sugar industry.
GAWU held that the workers during discussions with GuySuCo on the matter the workers had high expectations of a favourable outcome, but the Corporation’s procrastination was not helpful.
According to GAWU, the Vice President shared that he was cognizant of the plight of the sugar workers who suffered immensely under the previous regime.
“The Union welcomed the position advanced by the Vice President and hailed the decision to settle the matter. The GAWU shared that it believed mature and frank discussions could avoid such conflict in the future and urged that a new leaf be turned. During the discussions, the parties agreed that the 2021 negotiations would be addressed after the Union submits its claims and the Corporation has been able to evaluate the submission.”