A number of workers of Wales Estate who were retained after the estate ceased cane cultivation and sugar processing at the end of 2016 are soon to be made redundant.
According to a press release from the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the small workforce was being kept, among other things, to ensure that the Wales cultivation is in an ‘acceptable’ state as the estate was being transitioned to non-sugar crops. The union said that the fact that GuySuCo has decided to engage in further retrenchment at Wales serves to indicate that the planned other crops division has not being successful.
The GAWU release referred to a Wales workers’ press conference on October 10, 2017 where it was revealed that 27 bags of paddy per acre had been obtained in the recent harvest, a steep shortfall from the 40 bags expected, and a significant proportion of the harvested paddy was not of seed paddy specification and had to be milled into rice.
According to the GAWU statement hardly any word is said these days about the other ventures into cattle and dairy farming, orchard cultivation, aquaculture, etc. The union said that it had expressed strong reservations about moving in that direction, pointing out the past failures, as well as the absence of answers to many critical questions regarding the new endeavours.
GAWU also stated that it had been advised that Wales Estate will also fall under the reach of the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) set up by the government holding company, NICIL and it is hopeful that something could be done for the workers.