GAWU welcomes additional $1.5 billon support to sugar industry
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has welcomed the government’s decision to add another $1.5 billion to the sugar industry.
“The latest support amounting to $1.5B, aggregates to $10.5B channelled to the industry since the new Government took office some ten (10) months ago,” GAWU noted in a press release.
“Indeed, it is welcome news for an industry which had been starved of capital investment during the term of the Coalition and who, it appears, was intent on suffocating the industry to death,” GAWU stated
The Union said the need to retool and revitalize the sugar factories and cane fields is important if the industry is to reduce its cost-of-production and enhance and diversify its revenue base.
“We recognize some funding will be directed to the shuttered Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon estates as efforts are being made towards their re-opening.
“Expectedly, Rose Hall will commence operations in the second crop of 2022,” GAWU stated. Skeldon is likely to resume operations after and Enmore is being geared to become a hub of employment along the East Coast of Demerara.
“Presumably, sugar will feature in the new hub (at Enmore) given the historical ties, availability of skilled labour, and the sunk costs incurred in converting several fields for mechanization,” GAWU stated.
The Union said it recognizes that several of the usual suspects have lined up to denounce the support to the industry.
“In as much as we understand that they may not want the industry to succeed as it exposes their imprudent decisions, we cannot fathom the terms, slangs, and other language they use in their denunciations,” GAWU stated.
“It said some commentary had taken on an ethnic slant which confounds us given Guyanese of all backgrounds are employed in the sugar industry. Their actions and utterances demonstrate clearly to the sugar workers, and indeed all workers, who stands with them and those who stands against them,” the Union said.
“At this time, our Union urges that all monies made available by the State be properly utilized in a prudent manner. Indeed, it can go a long way to alleviating and resolving several of the maladies the industry faces.”