Rose Hall Estate workers yesterday afternoon stood with a feeling of dismay and frustration at the estate’s pay office as they awaited their weekly salary and for them the washing and parking of harvesters (seen in photo) signalled the end of cane growing there.
The salaries paid out yesterday were expected to be among the last workers will receive from the estate. Workers told Stabroek News that watching the machines being washed and parked in the Rose Hall estate compound made it clear that the estate closure will become a reality in the near future. The workers explained that at the end of this week, the second crop was completed at the estate. They noted that it was after the completion of the second crop that the machines were washed and parked in the compound.
One operator, of Reliance Village, East Canje, said, “See them park it deh? It coming to an end. Abie got to see wah to do now.”
Meanwhile, as of Thursday and Friday, redundancy letters were still being distributed at both the Rose Hall and Skeldon estates.
The Canje area as well as the Upper Corentyne area are presently in limbo. The residents of Region Six are fearing the worst but are still hopeful that some job opportunities will be provided for the workers who will be losing their jobs at the end of the month.
The citizens of the region are also worried about the crime rate escalating out of control because of the loss of jobs.
The Guyana Sugar Corporation had warned earlier this year that the layoffs were coming because of the dire financial state of the industry and the problem-plagued Skeldon factory. Workers at the Skeldon and Rose Hall estates over the past week have received redundancy letters informing them that their services would no longer be needed come December 29.
However, what is the most frightening to the workers is that alternative employment opportunities have not been put forth by the government.