GuySuCo withdraws from wage talks after workers strike

The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc yesterday withdrew from a planned wages and salaries negotiation with the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) saying that it will not negotiate under duress.
The meeting was scheduled to be hosted at the LBI training building.

According to a press release from the Sugar Corporation, “the decision to withdraw from the talks is in keeping with standard Industrial Relations practice which dictates that discussions should not take place in an atmosphere of duress.”

The release said that “this position stems from the fact that a section of workers attached to the LBI Estate resorted to strike action to vent their disapproval of the Corporation’s wage offer for the year 2009 among other issues.”

“To resort to strike action while the negotiations are ongoing is seen as a breach of good faith and an attempt to pressure GuySuCo into submission and place its negotiating team in a vulnerable position”, the release stated. “Such a move is only counter-productive to the task at hand and serves to delay the conclusion of the negotiations”, GuySuCo added.

GuySuCo further stated “that strike action at Diamond as is the case at LBI is unwarranted.”
At a meeting with Management, GAWU requested that a panel comprising of representatives from both sides be set up to review the plans for the future of the Diamond cultivation. That engagement is still ongoing as GuySuCo remains committed to ensuing that workers’ interests remain paramount.

“To this end, the Corporation has even found itself having to pay wages at the expense of its suppliers and creditors”, the release said.

GuySuCo noted that “while the Company remains open to dialogue and discussion it expects all stakeholders to appreciate the current plight of the Industry and the efforts being made to return it to viability.”

“The Guyana Sugar Corporation is therefore calling on the Union and workers, as key and responsible stakeholders to work together in

fostering a climate of partnership to solve the issues affecting the
sugar industry”, the release said.

They can demonstrate their commitment by resuming work in the shortest
possible time so that a continuation of the talks can be facilitated, GuySuCo added.

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