Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 22:17 by Denis Chabrol
The bankrupt state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuco) says it has asked government for an GYD$18 billion subsidy for next year, and will be unable to finance a wage and salary hike for this year.
“The Union was also advised that in 2017, the Corporation would require a further subsidy of more than G$18 Billion against a backdrop of lower production, reduced market prices, resulting in lower revenue,” the corporation said in a statement.
Even with that expected GYD$18 billion dollar subsidy, GuySuco expects to register a loss of GYD$12 billion.
GuySuco, which employs thousands of persons, says it also has to ask government for an additional GYD$3.5 billion for this year on top of the GYD$9 billion already provided.
GuySuco said it told the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union on Wednesday, September 19, 2016 for the second time in exactly one month and told the union that it could not afford to pay increased wages, salaries and allowances.
“In light of the above grim financial challenges, the Corporation informed the Union and its delegation at a meeting today October 19, 2016, that it did not have the monies required and was unable to award an increase on Wages and Salaries for 2016,” the corporation added.
In order to cushion the impact of the losses in 2015 and 2016, the government had provided a subsidy to the tune of G$12 Billion in 2015 and G$9 Billion in 2016.
GuySuco said after laying out the grim financial situation and asked GAWU whether there would be any more strikes since the union is required to give due notice of strike action, the union remarked that it was told “the intention of the union was no business of Guysuco”. “The Corporation on the other hand enquired whether there would be any more strikes, since it was a requirement that the Union provided the Corporation with due notice of strike action.
This would allow for better planning by managers to avoid wastage of canes, since if the canes were burnt and not sent to the factory within a specific time period, they would obviously be too stale to grind. The Union’s response was the intention of the Union was no business of GuySuCo.The Corporation finds this attitude hardly one for fostering better relationship between the parties,” Guysuco added.
The Corporation said it was disappointed that GAWU is not putting the business first and is not providing the leadership required to encourage the employees to fulfill their roles and responsibilities to the Corporation so that they can obtain the full benefits of this second crop in terms of increased incentives and other benefits.
The Corporation says it is in the middle of the Second Crop which has been affected negatively by the prolonged dry weather in the First Crop. It aims to take full opportunity of the good weather in this crop. The weather condition for the past few weeks was most appropriate for harvesting. We are now missing a good opportunity for increasing production.
Guysuco recalled that due to the strike action on October 17, 2016, six factories were not in operation. Factories are usually maintained on Mondays. This operation was affected in all factories, which means that maintenance had to be done on Tuesday October 18, 2016,for grinding to be resumed late on Tuesday.
Figures, GuySuco says, sugar losses across the industry resulting from the one day strike alone were approximately 202 tonnes. This is due primarily to the stalling of canes. However, sugar loss due to total opportunity time, is approximately 1,500 tonnes.