Sugar workers to receive insignificant API award on April 01, 2016

The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) engaged the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) in five (5) meetings, two (2) under the chairmanship of the Chief Labour Officer (CLO) at conciliation and three (3) between the parties (GAWU and GuySuCo) at the bilateral level relating to Annual Production Incentive (API) for 2015. The meetings which took place between November 18 and December 11, 2015 saw GuySuCo taking an uncompromising stand on its proposal to award a day’s pay as API for every 85,000 tonnes, or part thereof, of sugar produced.

No agreement had been reached between the parties. The CLO at the last meeting on December 11, 2015 advised that he would wish to brief his subject Minister who is the Chief Conciliator about the matter. The Union next heard from the CLO when he summoned a meeting with GAWU and GuySuCo on February 19, 2016. He did not report on the Minister’s view of the matter. The CLO then proceeded to declare the API conciliatory effort to be deadlocked.

It is necessary to recall between 2011 and 2014 the average was 35,945 tonnes per day’s pay. Thus, sugar workers received 7.58 API days’ pay for a production of 236,506 tonnes sugar in 2011; 6.76 days’ pay for 218,060 tonnes sugar in 2012; 5 days’ pay for 186,807 tonnes sugar in 2013, and 4.5 days’ pay for 216,359 tonnes sugar in 2014.

The GAWU considered that GuySuCo’s offer of one day’s pay for every 85,000 tonnes to be unjust and opposed it vehemently.

In a deadlocked circumstance, GuySuCo will now proceed with the API payments of 2.72 days’ pay for the 231,145 tonnes of sugar produced in 2015. GuySuCo has chosen April 01, 2016 to effect that payment.

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