If all goes well, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the Guyana Agricultural and General
Workers Union (GAWU), will likely name the arbitrator to decide on the case which recently saw an uproar concerning the dismissal of a worker from the Skeldon Sugar Factory.
This is according to GAWU’s President, Komal Chand who told this publication that following a meeting between the two sides at the Labour Ministry yesterday afternoon, a decision was still not made on the way forward in addressing the issue.
The dismissed sugar worker is alleged to have slapped a senior manager at the sugar factory a few weeks ago. He was then fired by the said official. Colleagues of the dismissed worker went on strike, claiming that the manager was the one at fault. They claimed that the manager usually ‘picked’ on workers-particularly the dismissed employee. At the time he reportedly received the slap, the manager was alleged to have used derogatory racial slurs against the worker who is of African descent.
Workers were also strong on the view that the manager should not have been the one to handle the matter since he was directly involved. Mr. Chand had stated also, that since the manager was the one who had the problem with the worker, the matter should have been referred to another official.
Days of strike action by the workers were said to have caused the loss of millions of dollars in revenue. However, Guysuco was not willing to reinstate the dismissed staff, and this angered workers further. After several meetings to calm the protest situation in Skeldon, it was finally agreed that a hold would be placed on the worker’s dismissal.
Chand had stated that under the terms of resumption, the parties agreed that conciliation proceedings in the dispute that led to the strike will commence. The Labour Minister had also recommended that the dismissed worker be returned to work after they had decided to suspend his termination, but Guysuco rejected, and refused to reinstate the staff member.
Chand said that the Labour Minister does not have the authority to make decisions in this case, but he can make recommendations. Since the sugar entity did not take the Minister’s recommendation, the matter will now go to arbitration, he said. This involves someone being in place to hear the case of both sides and coming up with a decision on the way forward.
Chand said that the two sides were at least able to come to a decision on one thing-that there should be one arbitrator. “If all goes well, it is likely that we can decide on somebody tomorrow (today).” Outside of that, today, the body will also seek to determine the Terms of Reference (TOR) to be addressed.
In the meantime, Chand said, workers at the sugar factory have been asked to be patient and remain calm while the system runs its course.
The Skeldon Estate is located some 100 miles outside of the city. Workers had walked off the job and set alight recently cut cane stalks. Meanwhile, the worker, Daniel Steven remains suspended without pay until the end of the arbitration proceedings.
Sep 21, 2018Eagles edged Vikings Basketball Club 76-74 to return to winning ways on Wednesday night during Second Division play of the Georgetown Amateur Basketball Association (GABA)/Rainforest Waters/Malta...
Thirty years ago, as a columnist replying to Harry Hergash, who ran away from his country almost fifty years ago, I would... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]