GUYSUCO still to come clean on fate of Diamond Workers

 By KNews


- Corbin

Leader of the Opposition, Robert Corbin, says that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is yet to come clean on the fate of their workers employed at the Diamond Estate.
Corbin, at the party’s most recent press briefing, recalled that his party is on record as stating that “Workers employed by the Diamond Estate, appear to have been set up for massive defrauding of their benefits and entitlements as GUYSUCO struggles to rescue the ailing sugar industry…While GUYSUCO pursues this devious plan, however, GAWU, the workers union, appears to be collaborating with either the Company or Government, as there are no visible signs that they are actively representing the interests of the Diamond sugar workers.”
Corbin added that in response to that statement and as is expected, both GUYSUCO and the Ministry of Agriculture rushed to make denial statements to the media.
“It is interesting that in none of those statements did they explain the plan of GUYSUCO for the workers at Diamond Estate, which was the real issue raised by the PNCR.”
Corbin said that it is also ironic that GAWU, the Union representing the workers has been silent on the matter.
As such, he challenged both GAWU and GUYSUCO to make a definitive statement about the future of the approximately 450 workers, most of whom have more than 20 years of service with Diamond Estate.
Dr Faith Harding, an Executive Member of the PNCR, had told media operatives that the company has repeatedly told the public that it has no plans for closing the estates, “while silently scaling down the operations of all the Demerara Estates.”
The PNCR Executive member said that at Diamond, in particular, no maintenance work is being done on the estate cultivation, while the company vigorously attempts to sell the land to Government and other developers for housing purposes.
“The recent passage of $4B through the Ministry of Housing to GuySuCo for housing lands has been well publicised.”
GuySuCo subsequently responded, which Corbin insists did not address the real issue at hand.
The company had said that it is extremely disturbed at statements made by the PNCR regarding the Diamond Cultivation on the East Bank of Demerara.
“We are even more concerned by the PNCR’s use of expressions, such as “defrauding” and “devious” in describing our efforts to turn the fortunes of the Sugar Industry around,” GuySuCo responded later.
The Corporation has a well thought out plan to return GuySuCo to financial viability, it stated.
“The Corporation has stated before and maintains that it has absolutely no plans to make any worker redundant.
“In fact, all terms and conditions of employment of all the workers remain intact and they are compensated for any additional time spent traveling.”
GuySuCo said that there is a shortage of labour on the East Demerara Estates where the two factories have been working well below their respective capacities.
The plan of the Corporation is to consolidate its workforce to improve production in its two factories and thereby improve the economic fortunes of the two Estates.

 

Monday, March 22, 2010