Workers from the Rose Hall Estate yesterday made another plea to the government to reconsider its decision to close the estate in a few weeks.
Speaking at a press conference held by the workers at the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Office in New Amsterdam yesterday, Glen Mcleod, on the behalf of his fellow Rose Hall workers, called on the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the government to rethink their October 13, 2017 announcement of closing the estate which will displace hundreds of workers and affect the lives of several thousands, who depend on the operations of Rose Hall Estate for their well-being, a GAWU media release said.
In his presentation, according to the GAWU release, McLeod said that they were hoping that the decision-makers would harbour second thoughts after recognizing the difficulties which the people of Wales now face. He blamed the “topmost man in the sugar industry,” Dr. Clive Thomas, Chairman of GuySuCo for advocating for the implementation of his “two decades” old position.
According to the media release, McLeod traced the history of the Rose Hall Estate, noting the significant dates in its history including the choosing of the estate by Prime Minister Forbes Burnham as the site for the Vesting Day activity on May 26, 1976 when the sugar industry was nationalized and the Guyana Sugar Corporation established, and observed that Rose Hall Estate is only estate awarded with a national award – the Medal of Service.
The Rose Hall sugar worker lamented that the impending death knell of the estate, the dashing of the workers’ dreams for a better tomorrow for their children and grandchildren and the difficult and uncertain future faced by the community whose life was centred around the estate, the GAWU release said.
“In a few short weeks, the estate chimney will no longer smoke, the horn will no longer blare, the hum of the sugar factory would cease, the lorries will no longer run, the night sky will not light up as canes are burnt, and the unmistakable sound of traversing cane punts will no longer be heard. And in its place, an eerie silence would be heard, “McLeod was quoted as saying, in the GAWU release.
“The reality is that in the absence of Rose Hall Estate there is simply nothing else to do in the area. There is no other industry or enterprise which can readily take us on. While we face difficulties now, this would be multiplied several times over should the closure take place,” McLeod, was quoted in the GAWU release, as opining.