No acceptable API for sugar workers this year

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– GuySuco achieved 225,424

After nearly three decades, sugar workers will not be receiving an acceptable Annual Production Incentive (API) as the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) refuse to compromise.

The two parties today met with conciliator; Chief Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Officer, Charles Ogle to discuss the API dispute, however GuySuCo stuck to its offer of 85,000 tonnes sugar for a day’s pay and GAWU stuck to its position of ensuring that more is given to its workers.

The Union said it “observed that this year (2015) for nearly three (3) decades will be the first time sugar workers would not have been able to obtain a wage increase and obtaining a compensatory and acceptable API payment. Indeed, the workers would encounter a bleak and grim period during the end of year holidays including the commencement of the New Year.”

Voicing its belief that the corporation’s claim that it cannot amend its offer on account of its financial situation is not being sincere, GAWU said it is “seeking to resolve the dispute submitted that some API payments could be paid during the course of the First Crop next year (2016) noting that the Corporation will be receiving revenue from sugar sales during the period.”

The Chief Labor Officer informed the meeting that he would provide a brief to his Ministers (of Social Protection) Volda Lawrence and Simona Broomes who would then have the opportunity to advise on the way forward, including to engage the parties with respect to finding a settlement.

The Sugar Industry achieved a production 225,424 tonnes of sugar at 06:00h today, leaving just 3,116 tonnes to meet its target of 227,443.

Albion Estate is slated to operate another week, Rose Hall and East Demerara Estates until week-ending December 26, 2015, and the other estates after this weekend would have concluded the harvest of their crops.

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