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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:16 pm
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– urged to continue services at LBI EstateMinister of Agriculture Robert Persaud yesterday tried to woo sugar workers from the Diamond Estate back to the job even as some 341 workers finally collected their severance pay.“I want to make it clear to those of you who are interested in continuing to serve the industry because we are currently faced with what you consider a labour deficit, we still cannot get enough workers as we need,Nike Air Vapor Max Flyknit On Sale, so all 381 workers, there is still a place for you in the sugar industry,” Persaud said during a meeting at the Diamond Secondary School, East Bank Demerara.Minister Persaud stated that while Government and the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was embarking on the approach of offering the workers their severance benefits, the entities were also imploring that the workers return to the fields and factories, to enhance and increase productions in the sugar industry.The total number of workers receiving cheques yesterday was 341 with queries still being conducted into the claims of the remaining 40 sugar workers.According to Persaud, the prelude of the payment of severance pay was the fact that decisions were made to consolidate on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) and given the costs and logistics involved in moving cane from Diamond, EBD, to Enmore, ECD, it was recognised that it would have been uneconomical to the corporation to be transplanting and transporting cane.Hence the strategic decision was taken to close operations at the East Bank Demerara location and discussions were held with the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) where there was recognition that issues such as benefits for the workers would need to be addressed.Kaieteur News understands that GAWU will also be withdrawing its court action in this matter.In his effort to assure the workers that the performance of the sugar industry is improving, Minister Persaud explained that Guyana is “looking at one of the better first crops in the last six years”, even though it is below what was originally projected.He cited issues such as the La Nina phenomena in February to March and the number of workers at the estates to be huge factors preventing a ‘richer yield.’The workers were told that the country should be enjoying satisfaction in having three factories operational and were urged not to feel a sense of hopelessness.“We can hit 300 tonnes or more by the end of the year,Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey, it is not impossible, we can get it done if we have the total commitment of everyone.”“While we offer you severance, I want to say to you that GuySuCo needs your skills,China NFL Jerseys, needs your services, and needs your commitment, the choice is yours, and GuySuCo will be meeting you very shortly to let you know what arrangements can be put in place to facilitate because if we are going to turn around the sugar industry, which has started and we are seeing positive results, we need every one in the fields, and in the factories that we can move our industry forward,” Persaud said.General Secretary of GAWU, Seepaul Narine, told the gathering that the cheques were fitting tributes to Father’s Day and expressed the hope that the workers would utilise their money properly by placing their severance payment into bank accounts or credit unions where they could gain interest and/or benefits after deciding what they would use the funds for.“Invest it in your children’s education since that is their future, don’t go on spending sprees.”He also cautioned that though the cash they had received was substantial they needed to be prudent in their spending.“Why spend from it when jobs could be available?” asked Narine as he reiterated the fact that both the Ministry of Agriculture and GuySuCo were urging that the workers remain employed and render services at the La Bonne Intention (LBI) estate.A section of the sugar workers as they waited patiently for the moment when they could receive their cheques.And Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GuySuCo, Rajendra Singh extended his gratitude to the workers for their contributions, years of service and commitment to the sugar industry as he issued a warning to them that they should “spend wisely and plan accordingly.”Singh stated that as the Diamond cultivation era now officially concludes, this should be a beginning of another era, where the workers’ services are deemed necessary for the survival, progress and benefit of the sugar industry and on a larger scale,China Jerseys Cheap, the country.Most of the workers indicated that they would remain with the corporation, despite collecting their severance packages.Ammon Alexander, who has worked with the Diamond Estate for a period of 32 years, received $2,NFL Jerseys Cheap,755,168 for his years of service.He told this newspaper that he plans to deposit his severance pay into his bank account and continue to work with GuySuCo at the LBI location where he presently serves as a dispatcher.For Seelochan Balkarran, next month would mark 35 years since he was employed at the Diamond location and though he is currently working at the LBI estate, he hopes that he would be given the opportunity to continue functioning in the same capacity.He works in the transportation field and received a $2,083,274 cheque.Balkarran says he will deposit the money into a bank account and distribute it among his four daughters.After working for 35 years as well,cheap nfl jerseys, Choonmattie Katwaru plans to return to the LBI location, and will do the same as others by depositing her money into her bank account. She explained that she lives on the West Coast of Demerara and her only concern was that transportation would still be made available for workers who have to travel far distances.Kaieteur News understands that at least 75 percent of the 381 workers have signaled intentions of returning to work for the sugar industry while the minority is still deliberating. Most of the workers have no other alternative since they find it difficult to secure other jobs, while some stated that sugar estate work is “all we know.”(Kristen Macklingam)