The GAWU was indeed surprised, to say the least, having read Mr Gobin Harbhajan’s letter entitled ‘Government should rescind sugar workers’ termination letters’ which appeared in the December 7 edition of Stabroek News.
The GAWU recalls the several letters appearing in the press in which Mr Harbhajan was very critical of our union. In this letter though, interestingly we found that several of his contentions had also been raised by the GAWU in recent times but then were criticized by Mr Harbhajan.
Now, when what our union has been saying for the past months is becoming a reality, Mr Harbhajan has seemingly changed tune and has become critical of GuySuCo and its CEO. But something is clearly amiss about the Prime Minister’s Berbice representative’s sudden change of heart. Just days ago, he accompanied the PM to his birthday celebration at the Auchlyne Primary School where several persons staged a picketing exercise calling attention to the dismissal of hundreds of workers at Rose Hall. Surely, Mr Harbhajan could have used this opportunity to seek to persuade the PM to make efforts to halt the injustice to the workers. Or if he did, he did not succeed. After all, he had a moving, heart-rending story to tell, that his “office is bombarded with 15 to 20 sugar workers begging for information on their fate and what will be done to assist them”.
We nevertheless are pleased that the PM’s Region Six representative has come to the realization about the profound impact the plans for the sugar industry are having and will have on so many ordinary Guyanese. In passing one notes the news that the CEO has resigned, but this cannot mean the government is without blame. We expect down the road, to see Mr Harbhajan becoming increasingly active in defence of the workers’ just causes and taking forthright positions to reverse their dismissals and the closure and sellout plans for the sugar industry.