Jun 22, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) yesterday expressed its pleasure regarding the recent decision of the Government to further support the sugar industry. The latest support amounts to $1.5 billion aggregates to $10.5 billion channelled to the industry since the new Government took office 10 months ago.
GAWU in a release stated that this is welcome news for an industry which had been starved of capital investment during the term of the Coalition and who, it appears, was intent on suffocating the industry to death.
GAWU highlighted the need to retool and revitalise the sugar cane factories and cane fields if the industry is to reduce its cost of production as well as enhance and diversify its revenue base. Recognising that some funding will be directed to the shuttered Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon estates as efforts are being made towards their re-opening, GAWU noted that Rose Hall is expected to commence operations in the second crop of 2022.
Skeldon too, it noted, will resume operations thereafter while Enmore is being geared to become a hub of employment along the East Coast of Demerara. Presumably, GAWU noted, sugar will feature in the new hub given the historical ties, availability of skilled labour, and the sunk costs incurred in converting several fields for mechanisation.
GAWU additionally stated, “We recognise too that several of the usual suspects have lined up to denounce the support to the industry. In as much as we understand that they may not want the industry to succeed as it exposes their imprudent decisions, we cannot fathom the terms, slangs, and other language they use in their denunciations.”
The GAWU observed too that some commentary had taken on “an ethnic slant which confounds it given Guyanese of all backgrounds are employed in the sugar industry. Their actions and utterances demonstrate clearly to the sugar workers, and indeed all workers, who stand with them and those who stand against.”
In conclusion, GAWU expressed optimism that all monies made available by the State will be properly utilised in a prudent manner since “indeed, it can go a long way to alleviating and resolving several of the maladies the industry faces.”
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