The GAWU Co-operative Credit Union Society Limited says that it has requested that the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) recommence deductions of contributions in favour of the Credit Union from workers’ earnings with effect from work-week, 5th – 11th July, 2015.
In a release on Wednesday, the Credit Union said that it and the Corporation have agreed to continue to address the settlement of the outstanding sum of money owed to the Credit Union which totalled on 31st May, 2015, $188,045,825.
“It is the firm understanding of the Credit Union and GuySuCo that workers’ savings henceforth at the end of each month will be remitted to the Credit Union and thus no further indebtedness to the Credit Union should ever arise”, the union said.
The credit union said that members who look forward to the continued service of the Credit Union will welcome the decision and “hopefully will spare no efforts to re-authorize the Corporation to facilitate their savings in the Credit Union”.
The credit union prompted shock on May 28th when it advised its members that it had requested GuySuCo to cease deductions from workers’ earnings with effect from week-ending May 30, 2015.
The Society said its decision had been prompted by GuySuCo not remitting workers’ savings to the Credit Union contrary to the extant Agreement between the Credit Union and the Corporation.
“As at the end of April, 2015, the Corporation failed to provide a huge sum of one hundred and fifty-four million, four hundred and ten thousand, five hundred and twenty-five dollars ($154,410,525) which represents workers’ savings for five (5) months. GuySuCo promised to the Credit Union some payments not later than the third week of this month (May, 2015) but same did not materialize”, the Credit Union said in a statement.
In the aftermath of the credit union’s request for a halt in deductions, hundreds of workers descended on its headquarters to withdraw their money. The credit union needed to take a loan to meet the demand for money.
The standoff between the credit union and GuySuCo came at the same time that the sugar corporation was in dire financial straits. Its now sacked Chief Executive Officer, Dr Rajendra Singh had said that the corporation required a $16b bailout otherwise the industry would grind to a halt. He has now been replaced by an interim body that includes two former chief executives: Errol Hanoman and Paul Bhim. The new APNU+AFC government has since released some money as part of a bailout package to the industry.