See the below statement issued on Monday, September 27, 2021, by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU):
Several workers of Skeldon Estate supported by the GAWU this morning (September 27, 2021) picketed outside of the estate calling on the GuySuCo to end its discriminatory benefits practices.
The workers are protesting a decision by the sugar company to pay gratuity to employees at the managerial, supervisory, and clerical levels while denying similar payments to workers employed in the field, factory, and allied areas. The workers are at a loss for the Corporation’s decision for their exclusion.
They charged that they, like the other benefitting groups, were offered fixed-term contracts and, therefore, see no reason for them not to benefit from the payments awarded to the other workers.
The GAWU, having learnt of the situation, addressed the matter with the GuySuCo Head Office. Despite several rationale arguments advanced, the sugar company by letter of September 23, 2021, said it could not agree to offer similar benefits to the workers.
No reason or explanation was provided by the Corporation for its decision. The workers having learnt of the Corporation’s adamancy on the matter became deeply upset and felt cheated. They indicated to the GAWU they felt lesser to their colleagues at the other levels of the estate.
In the meantime, the GAWU is advancing its representation and will seek the involvement of the Ministry of Labour through conciliation. The Union and the workers also urge GuySuCo to soberly review its position and to treat all workers equally. Indeed, we believe given the relevant sections of the Prevention of Discrimination Act such call is not unfair or imprudent.