Sugar workers on countrywide strike
Yesterday workers at the Uitvlugt Estate who are represented by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union joined the countrywide strike action over wages increase.
Workers from all the estates in Guyana are on strike.
In addition, workers, who are represented by NAACIE, claimed that they were sent home after their colleagues represented by GAWU took industrial action.
However, later yesterday afternoon, at a press conference, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Errol Hanoman, said that the NAACIE workers are back at work.
According to Hanoman, at the time, the industry was assessing the work the NAACIE workers would have to do since if there were no canes to be put through the factory, no sugar would not be produced, thus there would be none to sell.
To try and save on cost, GuySuCo had to bring the activities on the estate to a minimum while the strike action is on.
Speaking to this newspaper the cane cutters said they decided to join their colleagues since they are not satisfied with the three percent increase, which the sugar company is offering.
The cane cutters who had all converged at the shop near the estate said that given the high cost of living they couldn’t afford to accept that small increase.
Workers contend that their rights are being trampled on by the Sugar Company.
“We striking because them tell we that dem aint negotiating with we and we gon continue until dem tell we something better…look at VAT is wha dem trying to do we,” one cane cutter asked.
Another worker, Royston Petty, who is also a part of the committee which has been set up to negotiate with GuySuCo, said they orchestrated the strike after they turned up at the LBI estate on Tuesday and officials refused to have discussion with them.
Petty said this shows that GuySuco has no regards for the Union and as such they will continue to strike until their voices have been heard.
The workers further added that they are not totally rejecting the three percent increase but they need to be heard.