Amid a deadlock over their demands for a pay rise and the Annual Production Incentive (API) sugar workers have embarked on picketing exercises countrywide.
A release yesterday from the main sugar union GAWU said that workers are picketing the Administrative Offices and Pay Offices of GuySuCo across the industry. Picketing exercises have taken place so far at the Wales, Enmore, Albion and Blairmont Estates on December 14; at Rose Hall and Uitvlugt Estates on December 16 and at Blairmont Estate yesterday. The union said that some of the slogans carried by workers included:
Why are Sugar Workers targeted for discriminatory treatment?
As Gov’t workers, sugar workers must not be denied getting Gov’t Bonus
Our struggle continues for 2015 API and Wage Increase
No wage increase and a pittance API – a formula for an unstable future
GAWU said that the protests will likely roll over into the New Year as the “workers are highly demotivated at this time by the treatment they are experiencing by the authorities.
They feel justifiably that they have been singled out for discrimination notwithstanding the acknowledgement of their hard and dedicated work” which has seen the surpassing of the Corporation’s production target for the first time in eleven years.
The union said that bearing in mind that the “pittance” API award is to be paid until March next year, GAWU wrote to the Minister of Finance on Tuesday requesting that the $50,000 Christmas bonus announced for public sector employees be awarded also to the sugar workers who are employees also of a state-owned enterprise. GAWU said it awaits the Minister’s response.