…as Skeldon workers attempt to come to grips
The Regional Chairman of Region Six, David Armogan during Thursday’s statutory meeting appealed to President David Granger to stand by his words uttered on his visit to Kenya. The President had said “People are more important than profits”.
Armogan stated that he will be looking forward to the Head of State standing by his statement upon his return to Guyana.
Armogan also stressed that, “when you are laying off these workers, it is not them alone you are talking about, it is their families too”.
His statements were made amid the decision made by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to distribute termination letters to hundreds of sugar workers at Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates. He said that with such a move, economic life will be hindered in the region.
He argued, “I expected alternatives; if you are sending people off, you gotta have alternatives, at some point in time, sugar will have to contract, and divestment has to happen, but in a way in which some other provision is made for the workers”.
Meanwhile, the majority of Skeldon Estate sugar workers have since received their termination letters over the past few days from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) in its plan to close.
Many of the workers who were seen collecting their letters at the Skeldon Estate pay office had looks of dismay as the reality sunk in; after a hard day’s work in the field, most headed to the office to uplift.
Vendors and businesses on the Upper Corentyne expressed dissatisfaction over the current status quo of the Skeldon Sugar Factory closure. Many are certain that this will have an adverse impact on businesses of every nature in the township of Corriverton and its environs. Business owners are worried that they will no longer be able to sustain their operations due to an impending decline in disposable income. They are also worried that due to the high rate of unemployment, there is now an avenue for an increase in criminal activity.
Over 1,700 workers received their letters, excluding supervisors and clerks.
The Government had delayed the recommended closures of two estates, amid an ongoing privatisation and divestment process underway by a special unit of the state-owned National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL).
The decision by GuySuCo to issue the workers letters that indicated that there will be no place for them in the coming weeks, has placed the Coalition Government in an extremely awkward situation, a senior official had told this publication. A number of ministers have expressed disappointment with the letters and have signalled intentions to have Cabinet take a stance on the matter.
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