Last Updated on Friday, 23 April 2021, 23:05 by Denis Chabrol
The ailing state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) Friday night announced that workers would get a one-off payment calculated at five percent of six months salaries two years ago, following talks with a government delegation led by Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The union explained that the pay-out would be calculated on the workers’ earnings in 2019. However, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo’s office said a six-month increase for workers, totalling GYD$200M, was approved for 2019 and is expected to be paid soon.
Mr. Jagdeo’s office said increased wages and salaries have already been paid to workers for 2020 and so negotiations for 2021 “will be addressed at a later date.” GAWU had last week called on GUYSUCO to resume wage negotiations for 2019 to 2021.
GAWU on Friday said during the discussions, the parties agreed that the 2021 negotiations would be addressed after the union submits its claims and the Corporation has been able to evaluate the submission.
GAWU, which is historically aligned to the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP), said the accord was reached following a meeting between Mr. Jagdeo, the union’s General Council and members of its negotiating team and GUYSUCO officials.
“Through the agreement reached the workers stand to benefit from some $200M in payments which expectedly would be paid soon,” the union said.
Vice President Jagdeo was quoted in a GAWU statement as reminding of the government’s release of GYD$900 billion since the PPP returned to office in August 2020.
GAWU quoted its President Seepaul Narine as reiterating that bargaining agent’s s “commitment to examining any reasonable offer as it was not unmindful of the state of the sugar industry.”
The union accused the Corporation’s management of procrastination. Workers had over the past two weeks downed tools to press demands for management to resume wage and salary negotiations.
The GAWU is heartened that this long outstanding issue which has been most distracting has been revolved.