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Guysuco sets date for Annual Production Incentive talks

As the Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) appears set to achieve its production target for this year, the entity announced Wednesday that it was ready to hold talks with the union on the Annual Production Incentive (API).

However, the sugar producer is still not ready to hold negotiations for a nine percent wage and salary increase being proposed by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) until government first reviews a report by the Commission of Inquiry into Guysuco.

The corporation said it would be ready to meet with the union in another seven days.

“The Guyana Sugar Corporation has this (Wednesday) morning written to the GAWU informing the Union of its agreement to commence discussion on the Annual Production Incentive for 2015 on Wednesday 18 November,” according to a statement issued through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Guysuco’s current ‘crop-to-date’ total as of 06:00hrs Wednesday, November 11, 2015 stood at 120,385 tonnes, with the cumulative ‘year-to-date’ figure at 201, 528 tonnes. The company hopes to produce 227,000 tonnes of the sweetener this year.

Guysuco said it had always planned to meet with the union to “address the API for the current year.

GAWU President, Komal Chand’s assertion that his union would be willing to hold API talks in lieu of wage and salary talks was dismissed by Guysuco.

“The API is a totally different matter from wages and salaries.  Discussion of the former cannot be in lieu of the latter.  The Corporation has never refused to enter into discussions on wages. Its position has always been that these negotiations would commence after a decision is taken on the way forward for the industry after consideration of the COI report.  This position will not change,” said the sugar corporation.”

GAWU late last month called out the estimated 17,000 workers on a three-day strike to protest the delay in Guysuco’s management holding wage and salary talks.