– GuySuCo accepts suspension recommendations
Four sugar workers who were dismissed following a fire at the bagasse plant at the multi-million-dollar Skeldon factory are back on the job after the matter went to conciliation and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) accepted the recommendations to opt for suspensions instead.
According to President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), Komal Chand, following submissions by GuySuCo and the union to the Conciliator, Chief Labour Officer, Yog Mahadeo, in a report, had recommended that the workers be reinstated.
As a result, said Chand, the workers instead of being dismissed were each subjected to a one-month suspension. As the workers since being dismissed were already one month away from their duties, the time spent away from the job was used as the suspension. That suspension period was up Monday and the workers – three represented by GAWU and one by the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) – were all back at work.
“We had argued that the penalty was too harsh and I am happy to say that GuySuCo agreed and instead opted to have the workers suspended,” Chand said yesterday.
Following the fire last month, GuySuCo had refused to back off its decision and the matter went to conciliation.
According to the Corporation, on Saturday August 7, a fire in the Skeldon factory resulted in extensive damage to the bagasse conveyor belt.
GuySuCo, in pointing out that the incident occurred on the same day the estate was slated to commence its second crop production for the year, disclosed that based on the extent of the damage, it was clear that the blaze actually started much earlier than the time it was first reported -three hours earlier.
“A full investigation was conducted which revealed that the incident resulted because of gross negligence, caused extensive damage where remedial works will cost millions of dollars, coupled with the loss of three days’ production.”Following the investigation, GuySuCo said it took disciplinary action against employees, both managerial and non-managerial.
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