Nov 08, 2011 News
Sugar workers and their rights have been trampled upon, according to former PPP/C Executive Member, Moses Nagamootoo. At a recently held political meeting in Adelphi, Canje, on Saturday, Nagamootoo spoke about the poor standards in the lives of sugar workers and treatment meted out to them by the current administration.
“I told them that they had to treat sugar workers with honesty. They had promised that no sugar worker would be sent packing or factory would be closed”, he said. He noted the closure of several sugar factories in Demerara and warned the Berbicians that they (the closures) “are coming this way”.
The government did not have a plan for the sugar industry, he said.
He noted how the industry lacked good payment and increases for the workers and that the current administration supported this.
“They said GuySuCo had no money and they started to shift money, to give them $8M to bail them out because Nanda Gopaul is working in Jagdeo’s office! Gopaul is Jagdeo’s man and he, Jagdeo, put him to run GuySuCo!” Nagamootoo told the audience.
The politician added that Gopaul sent a letter in 2010 to the union that the industry would de-recognize the union, if it did not withdraw the five per cent Annual Production Index (API).
“They will ban the union; the union office will close down. Komal Chand will have to look for work”, he posited.
Alluding to the story of Greek Oedipus whereby the son killed the father and started to sleep with the mother, Nagamoootoo drew similarities with this to the sugar industry and the president.
“The sugar workers are the womb from which the PPP came! Remember the Enmore Martyrs? That is when Jagan made a pledge that he will not turn back in his fight from oppression! Through this, the PPP was formed in 1950. I have lived to see the day, that our father [Jagan] is dead, and you, Jagdeo, are screwing our mother!” Nagamootoo stated.
He recalled when he wrote a statement to the press, explaining the “disgraceful things happening at Freedom House” and that “Guyanese should light a candle for sugar workers” and that the “sugar workers were being screwed”. Three days later, a meeting was called and he alleged that Jagdeo said, “We gotta expel Moses from the party”.
Nagamootoo said the AFC has the PPP on the run, regarding the fight for the sugar workers. He alluded to the three per cent increase offer to public servants and sugar workers, which he said, works out to $900 more a month, or $30 per day.
“You can’t buy a fudge with that. You can’t buy anything with that, you can’t buy a bottle of sweet drink, or mauby with that!”
He suggested that President Jagdeo take the three per cent and “put it where the monkey put the peanuts”.
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