The Government of Guyana is being urged to pay wages and salary increases to all sugar workers in light of the recent increases announced for public servants.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo used his solo press conference today to call on the government that he has repeatedly described as “illegal” to offer the increases to sugar workers.
Mr. Jagdeo told reporters that the Government could use finances obtained by the National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) through the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to pay the increases.
“They don’t have to go back to Parliament and they don’t have to use from the Contingency Fund. They can easily transfer some of the money they are getting from the bond and paying 4.5 percent interest on and finance the salary increases,” Mr. Jagdeo stated.
The Opposition Leader said he has taken note of some of the statements coming from the government about the sugar company and increases.
The Government has said it is up to the Guysuco board to offer the increases.
But according to Jagdeo, “it is disingenuous to argue that the board must make that decision when the Government has made every decision for GuySuCo from the closure to the sending home of the staff to the transfer of their assets to the raising of their bond”.
Jagdeo noted that GuySuCo workers have not received any salary increases in 5 years.
“We believe that the sugar workers should be paid, they should get a salary increase and we believe there is a means of financing this now instead of going to any fund.”
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the union representing the workers, has urged Government to engage the Board and other GuySuCo officials in finding a way to provide the workers with a pay rise.