Today (March 17, 2016) the full workforce of cane cutters numbering approximately 750 workers of Rose Hall Estate struck and about 500 of them picketed outside of the Estate’s Administrative Office condemning the Management’s decision not to offer them work last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday notwithstanding the fact that the other Estates provided work during those days. The Management of the Estate incited today’s (March 17, 2016) solid strike after it refused to meet yesterday (March 16, 2016) with a delegation of the elected representatives of the workers.
Yesterday (March 16, 2016), the workers from Providence, East Bank Berbice, a section of Rose Hall Estate, took strike action after they were denied work for three (3) previous days. They protested outside the Estate’s Administrative Office. During the workers’ protest, armed police were summoned at the scene though at no time was the protest disorderly even for the brief moment the workers occupied the entrance leading to the Estate’s office. They sought to have a meeting between the Management and their elected representatives. The workers’ request was ignored. It was reported that one or two senior Managers vacated their offices at the time to ensure that no meeting could have taken place.
However, during the course of the workers’ protest, the Estate’s Human Resources Manager informed the protesting workers that the Estate Manager would meet with five (5) workers. He insisted that the elected representatives would not be facilitated at the meeting. This communication incensed the workers and the police had to escort the Estate’s personnel to his office.
Cane cutters from the other gangs having heard about the refusal of the Management to engage the workers’ representatives decided to strike and protest today (March 17, 2016). Some of the workers placards read:-
- Rose Hall Estate denying us work – workers of other Estates getting work
- Down with Rose Hall Estate highhandedness
- Management refusing to resolve disputes with elected reps
- Rose Hall Estate inviting confrontation
The large number of protesting workers and their vociferous chants attracted the police again today (March 17, 2016) as well as political activist Veerasammy Ramayya who was most unwelcome and who was rejected by the protesting workers.
The protest ended late this morning (March 17, 2016) with the workers maintaining their demand that the Estate Manager meet with their representatives to address their matters of adequate work being provided to them.
GAWU considers that the workers at Rose Hall Estate stand on good grounds and looks forward to the Manager and the representatives having a meeting without delay rather than to allow the strike to escalate.
To view protest scenes click here