GAWU welcomes resolution of Diamond Severance Pay dispute
…to withdraw lawsuit
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and its almost 375 members of the recently closed Diamond Estate yesterday said they are delighted that the 17-month severance pay dispute has been resolved.
As a result, GAWU said it would be withdrawing the lawsuit it had filed to force the Corporation to pay severance.
The Union said that it was satisfied with the intervention of President Bharrat Jagdeo who made the resolution of the dispute at this time possible “rather than to await what might have been a long delay in addressing the matter by the Court.”
However, GAWU said that it would have been more favourable if the President had intervened much earlier when the workers were initially ordered by the Corporation to take up work at LBI Estate.
The Union, in a statement, said that its relentless representation to the Corporation, its representation to the Ministry of Labour and its resort to lawsuit to ensure that the workers are not denied their right to Severance Pay had at last borne reward.
“The workers’ everlasting vigil contributed significantly to the resolution of the matter,” GAWU stated.
GAWU said that the Corporation, in its Turnaround Plan, which was conceived “without an iota of input from the two sugar unions” and released in April 2009, out of the blue, disclosed that the Diamond cultivation would be gotten rid of and the land would be put on sale for the sum of $30.6B. The jobs of the workers at Diamond Estate consequently became redundant a few months later.
GAWU said it held steadfastly that the redundant workers are legally entitled to Severance Pay in reference to Section 21(4)(b) of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act since the new work location – LBI Estate – is more than 10 miles from the Diamond location.
GAWU quoted a source in GuySuCo as indicating that the severance pay to workers is to be completed in early June.