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Thousands of sugar workers strike in Guyana
Published on October 19, 2010 Email To Friend    Print Version

by Caribbean News Now Staff

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Thousands of sugar workers on Monday brought operations at the cash-strapped and highly-indebted Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) to a halt, pressing demands for a 15 percent wage hike.

Demerara Waves reported that, even in the face of appeals for the company to first achieve its production target, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) said it had no apology for calling the one-day strike.

Hoping to produce 264,000 tons of the sweetener by the end of the crop, the state run Guysuco said the one day strike by the 11,000 sugar workers would not result in an actual loss of production but a reduction in production-days and the availability of dry-weather days to plough the fields at the eight estates country-wide.

Chief executive officer of Guysuco, Paul Bhim, told demerarawaves.com that the strike has come at a time when the momentum has been "picking up". He noted that the workers would lose one day's pay as a result of the strike.

While ruling out the company being able to pay a 15 percent wage hike, Bhim expressed disappointment that the union ignored the company's appeal not to stage industrial action and return to the bargaining table after the crop ends.
 
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