The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) wants the agreed upon pay increases for sugar workers to be retroactive to January 1, 2019 and not January 1 of this year. This comes days after the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) agreed to the pay hike, following months of pressure by the Union and workers.
According to GAWU, GuySuCo offered a 5% increase for workers engaged in piece-rated activities. For those engaged in time-rated work, it has proposed $20 increase for those at the Band One level and $18 for those who are in Bands Two to Five. Those increases range between 4.1 to 7.84 %, the Union noted. Additionally, the corporation has proposed that a $4,000 per month increase for monthly-paid employees, which is equivalent to a 3.9 % increase at the minimum level for foremen and 4.62 % for charge hands.
“…The Corporation wishes to implement the new increases from January 01, this year. The GAWU, after consulting workers, has put to the Corporation that no worker receives less than a 5% pay increase. Importantly, the Union and the workers have stressed that the increases be retroactive to January 01, 2019,” the Union said.
It argued that such a stance is being taken against the background that the Union and the Corporation’s discussions regarded claims for 2019 and thus, any increase ought to be implemented from the beginning of that year. It was at this point that the parties ended their discussions during their meeting last Wednesday (February 12, 2019).