The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the Amazon Caribbean (Guyana) Limited (AMCAR) yesterday signed an agreement recognising the union to be the representative of the workers employed at the company’s location at Rosignol, West Bank Berbice.
The Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board (TURCB) since July 29, 2014, according to GAWU, approved the union’s recognition application.
“During discussions to frame and finalise the agreement between the GAWU and AMCAR a number of hurdles arose which resulted in a delay of the Recognition and the Avoidance and Settlement of Disputes Agreement which the parties (yesterday) appended.”
According to the union, the Department of Labour, Ministry of Social Protection, under the Chairmanship of the Chief Labour, Occupational, Safety and Health Officer, Charles Ogle assisted the parties to overcome an important difference as to the different categories of employees who are eligible for union representation in compliance with the Union Recognition Certificate.”
The union and the company will next begin engagements regarding the Collective Labour Agreement.
“That agreement will set out the terms and conditions of employees and will address pay rates and benefits such as overtime, leave allowances, etc. We hope that this agreement will soon be concluded and the GAWU and the Company’s relationship can go forward in a fruitful manner.
The company’s workforce, mainly females are engaged in the processing and canning of Heart of Palm for export mainly to Europe.”
The company has two operations, in the Barima River that recently celebrated 30 years.
With 85 direct employees and some 200 free lance pickers in 2016, the production of Heart of Palm is more than ever a major activity in this remote region of Guyana, AMCAR says.
The product was certified organic since 1997, standing as a guarantee that sustainable harvesting practices are followed by all pickers. The extraction of the palms has minimal impact on the environment, since no machinery is used for harvesting and the palm re-growth is sufficient to enable sustainability.
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