GAWU welcomes Govt’s decision to give $250,000 to severed sugar workers

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has welcomed an announcement made by Vice President, Bharrat Jagdeo that sugar workers fired in 2016- 2017 will receive a grant of $250,000.

Those fired sugar workers were also paid severance back in 2018.

The announcement was made at an event in Region Six on Monday where the Vice President noted that the grants will be disbursed by the end of January 2022, to every affected sugar worker regardless of their current employment status.

GAWU in a statement on Tuesday said some seven thousand (7,000) sugar workers who were made jobless following the closure of Wales Estate in 2016 and Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates will benefit from the sum. “…the support by the Government is a welcomed and seeks to correct the injustice and indignation the workers and their families confronted following the callous minimization of the sugar industry,” it noted.

The Union alluded to an impact study done by the Labour Organisation (ILO) in which it confirmed that the workers and their families’ lives and well-being were significantly affected.

GAWU further urged that the Government considers extending its support to all sugar workers. “We believe it will help to alleviate the many burdens the workers had to contend with during the term of the Coalition in office,” it noted.

The PPP/C administration campaigned during the 2020 General and Regional Elections to resuscitate the sugar industry. The Vice President reportedly highlighted several plans to diversify the Skeldon Sugar Estate in partnership with investors, continued push to reopen the Rose Hall Estate, and plans to expand the GuySuCo’s Port Mourant Training School to offer the necessary courses to certify workers to seek other employment.