Sugar workers to avoid strike next Tuesday

The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) by letter dated March 15, 2015 invited a delegation from the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) to a meeting commencing at 10:00h on (Tuesday) March 22, 2016 at the LBI Training Room with respect to the “proposals submitted [by the Union] on behalf of the field and factory employees and the field foremen/forewomen for year 2015”. The letter concluded by saying “by copy of this letter NAACIE’s [National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees] delegation is also invited to attend this meeting…”

This invitation was a response to a letter by GAWU to GuySuCo on March 14, 2016 reminding the Corporation that such a meeting and negotiations were long overdue. GAWU is looking forward to the Corporation addressing the Union’s proposals for last year and has been agitating since the latter half of 2015 for the Corporation to engage the Union in discussions regarding those proposals. To arrive at this point of an impending meeting, workers had to resort to various actions to show their resolve for such a meeting which is to address matters related to their welfare. In view of this development, GAWU, through this additional medium, is now advising workers on all the estate not to proceed with strike action scheduled for (Tuesday) March 22, 2016.

At the upcoming meeting, the Union will strongly again advocate that the Corporation engage in Collective Bargaining in earnest. One important issue to address is that of a wage/salary rise. 2015 is the only year in over three (3) decades when sugar workers did not receive an increase in wages making them the only segment of the State’s employees that did not benefit from same.

In the scheduled meeting we hope that such a stain in sugar’s more recent history will be erased.

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