Blairmont sugar workers picket for pay increase

The picketing workers

A large number of factory and field workers attached to the Blairmont Estate downed tools yesterday morning to call for a pay increase.

The workers held a picketing exercise outside the estate’s administrative office as they demanded an immediate 15 per cent pay increase.

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) in a press statement yesterday said, “The workers are seeking for the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) to bring an end to its procrastination in the consideration of their call for a 15 per cent pay increase. They feel that the discriminatory treatment meted out to them with the cognizance of the government for the past years should no longer be perpetuated.”

According to GAWU, sugars workers have endured the most disheartening treatment than any other sector, since the coalition government took office.

The union’s statement read, “The workers have been forced to swallow the bitter pill of a significant fall in their purchasing power occasioned mainly by the onerous new and higher taxes imposed across the country. At the same time, using data from the Corporation’s financial statements, the GAWU,  stated that between 2014 and 2017, average pay per worker in the sugar industry has declined on average by $284,000. This, for the workers, has been a most difficult double whammy.”

GAWU further said that sugar workers are very upset to know that “they remain the only group of workers under the state’s umbrella to have not received any improvement in pay since the APNU+AFC Coalition took office in May, 2015…This is in stark contrast to the promises and commitments our now government leaders made to them in the lead-up to the 2015 National and Regional elections.”

 The statement also noted that GAWU is at a loss as to why sugar workers have been singled out for such unwarranted and unnecessary treatment. “The differing approach to the sugar workers is glaring and most upsetting”, it added.

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