GuySuCo’s Public Relations Officer, Ms Audreyanna Thomas in responding to a picketing exercise by the pensioners of the Corporation at the LBI Community Centre is quoted in the April 28, 2018 Stabroek News to have said that the company’s moves relate largely to “…an increased security measure for both the corporation and as well as for the pensioners”. The GAWU finds Ms Thomas’ expressed rationale not only disingenuous but says a lot about the Corporation’s concerns for its employees past and present.
To date, dismayingly, the Corporation has not seen it fit to engage the pensioners and to get a better understanding of the real challenges they have in going in the direction the company is foisting on them. Apart from the mental and physical anguish that the Corporation is imposing on its pensioners, no one should, in anyway, discount the financial implications of now going to the banks some distance away from where the pensioners would normally receive their payments. For some pensioners, the cost of travelling to the bank really exceeds the sum they receive from GuySuCo. Then we cannot forget the threat of criminality as we exit the banks. Just weeks ago, the nation would recall the recent shootout between the police and persons on the seawall who allegedly were intent on robbing someone who had just concluded business at a bank.
The Corporation should not look only at serving its self-interest and completely ignore the constraints the pensioners have and would have. It would be wise, in our view, for GuySuCo to climb down from their perch atop their ivory towers to meet with the pensioners and to listen, with a caring ear and an open mind, about the several difficulties they would have. The intransigent attitude adopted by GuySuCo to these retired workers, some who contributed over four decades of their life to the sugar industry, in their twilight years to say the least is unconscionable.