Apr 16, 2016 News
GAWU was aware of LBI closure since 2011…
The decision to cease the remaining operations of the LBI sugar estate and consolidate it at Enmore, East Coast
Demerara, started five years ago, with the unions very much aware, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) said yesterday.
GuySuCo’s claims come amidst objections by the two unions, Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), over an announcement Tuesday by GuySuCo during a meeting.
The unions said that the closure of the LBI operation would result in more than 800 workers being deployed to Enmore estate.
The corporation, at the meeting, informed the two unions that the company has decided to have the operations of the Field Workshop, Mill Dock, Field Lab, Stores, and Administrative Offices that are based at LBI Estate merged with similar operations at Enmore Estate during this year.
The unions claimed that in 2011, when the LBI factory was closed and its workers were transferred to Enmore factory, both unions were assured by a member of the current Interim Management that there will be no closure of any other department after the closure of the factory.
“Thus, it was never expected that the corporation under the same management could decide to dismantle the costly buildings at LBI Estate, and end the operations which it approved about five years ago.”
However, GuySuCo is claiming something else.
The corporation said that earlier this month, on April 5, at a meeting at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Estate
between GuySuCo and GAWU, the unions was informed of the need for the two parties to meet to discuss the completion of the integration process.
“A date was agreed upon, hence the meeting on April 12, last. Officials of GuySuCo met with representatives of the two unions on the ‘Finalisation of the Integration of East Demerara Estates’ on April 12, last.”
GuySuCo explained that since 2011, the unions and the corporation had met with each worker in the LBI factory over a five-day period to discuss the closure of the LBI factory and their re-deployment.
“The factory was then closed in the same year and workers were re-deployed to other positions within the Enmore Estate. In some instances, the authorized manning levels were exceeded to accommodate the workers,” GuySuCo said.
The corporation insisted that GAWU was fully involved in that process.
“Yet, the integration progress was not completed, since there are still two Mill Docks, two Field Workshops, two Field Laboratories, two Field Offices and two stores, within the East Demerara Estates operations at LBI.”
Tuesday’s meeting was to discuss the process of completing the integration which will see the Finance and Human Resources Departments moving to Enmore, the consolidation of the mill dock, the field workshop, the stores and the field laboratory from LBI with similar operations at Enmore.
“It should be noted that the full integration process should have been completed since 2011 but this was not done, to the further detriment of the economics of the EDE,” GuySuCo said.
“This state of affairs must be compared with Albion Estate which produces more than twice the amount of sugar
as produced by the East Demerara Estates and operates efficiently with one Mill Dock, one Field Workshop, one Field Laboratory and one Mill Dock.”
GuySuCo said that interestingly, the unions have requested further information and have committed to work with GuySuCo to finalise the integration process over the coming weeks. “Therefore, GuySuCo finds it strange, that having been a part of the integration process over the years and having made commitments to see the process to completion at recent meetings, the unions would now issue this contradictory statement to the press.”
On Thursday, GuySuCo’s Finance Director, Paul Bhim, noted that LBI factory has been closed for a number of years now.
“The factory is already closed. We are consolidating the field and other administrative operations with Enmore where the factory is. The fields required to grow canes will still be doing that.”
GuySuCo, a state-owned company, has fallen on hard times and facing financial difficulties.
It has for over a decade been falling behind production targets with consecutive Governments being forced to plug billions of dollars annually to keep it afloat.
The David Granger administration had sacked the entire board and its boss, Dr. Raj Singh, when it took office last year May.
The industry managed to reach its annual target for the first time in a decade, at the end of 2015.
This year, as part of the cost-cutting measures, GuySuCo has announced plans also to consolidate and close its oldest factory, at Wales, and shift operations to Uitvlugt.
However, the unions have been against the closures and have held protest actions and vigils.
“Our unions are wary and concerned about the fate of the LBI workers. GAWU and NAACIE are hopeful that the unsavory and oppressive situation at Wales is not repeated, and call on GuySuCo to revisit its decision on the full closure of LBI.
“The unions reiterate their commitment to stand by the workers and will defend their rights that are protected by local and international labour laws,” the statement said yesterday.
The only savior of Guyana
Oct 01, 2023…focused on Grassroots and Female Football Kaieteur Sports – Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde recently completed a successful two-day outreach in Region Seven...
Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
Oct 01, 2023
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.