Wages talks between the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and its main union, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) yesterday made no progress and raised fresh fears of more strikes.
According to GAWU, the Corporation, represented by its senior managerial team headed by Chief Executive Officer (Ag), Errol Hanoman, and other officials including Managers from the estates, met union officials at the Ogle Staff Club, East Coast Demerara.
Negotiations did not go well, GAWU said. ”The Corporation’s CEO presented a long dissertation about the recent three-day strike, which he opined should have been avoided to allow the crop’s canes to be fully harvested.”
Hanoman, GAWU said, informed the union delegation that he was not in a position to commence the wages negotiations at the time.
GAWU said that its approximately 40-person delegation, through the President, Komal Chand, and other union officials, pressed for the negotiations to commence in earnest to assure sugar workers across the industry that their interests are being considered. There were no clear answers.
“The CEO having been pressed to provide an answer said that he could not advise on a date. He informed the Union’s delegation that the negotiations would begin after GuySuCo has obtained a framework in which the negotiations would take place. It is implied from the answer that the CEO is awaiting the framework from the Government possibly via the Corporation’s Board.”
GAWU said it is dismayed at the delay in the proceedings and will be convening another General Council today to discuss GuySuCo’s stance.
“However, we are looking forward, in keeping with good industrial practices and relationships, that
GuySuCo will summon a meeting before the General Council meets.”
Workers struck last weekend, prompting Government to express the belief that there was politics involved.
After a few years of downhill slide, the industry is showing signs of recovery.
Sugar has been operating at massive loss, forcing consecutive Governments to shell out billions in cash help to GuySuCo.
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