The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is currently examining ways in which it can address a call made by some 3,500 sugar workers for pay increases. The request was made via a petition that was issued to President David Granger, almost three months ago. Last month, the Head of State forwarded that petition to GuySuCo for “advice” on the way forward.
GuySuCo’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Harold Davis Jr., in providing an update on the issue today, told Guyana Standard that the Corporation would have received that request some time ago, and is working to address the matter.
Dr. Davis said that the Corporation met with the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) and discussions were held. Chief among them, was the current financial status of the Corporation.
The CEO said that GuySuCo “does not have access to the National Treasury” and that all increases – should there be any – will have to come from monies generated through production.
Despite this, Dr. Davis said that the management of GuySuCo is hoping that there will be a favourable conclusion to the matter to the satisfaction of all involved.
“We are trying to work with what we have… We met with the union, and we have to work and see how we can move forward. We have to work,” he said.
The petition was signed by some 3,500 sugar workers engaged in the fields and factories of Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt Estates. The petition was submitted to the President on October 7.
In that document, workers said they have been working for the same rates-of-pay since 2015, though the cost-of-living has risen “significantly” in the ensuing period.
They noted too, that their earnings have declined owing to a number of factors such as lessened crop weeks, restriction of certain benefits, the suspension of other long-standing conditions-of-work, among other things. The situation, the workers lamented, has found them and their families “between a rock and a hard place”.