The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union is not optimistic of sugar workers getting a pay increase before the new year.
The union has been pressing for sugar workers to also get an increase in their salaries following the announcement of increases for public servants.
At a press conference today, the General Secretary of GAWU Seepaul Narine said the issue is still one that the union wants to be addressed.
“A burning issue of today within the industry is workers’ pay. Today brings us to 1,814 days since sugar workers’ pay rates have remained stagnated. Over the last few weeks, the workers and the Union have heightened their call for a pay rise.,” he explained.
The GAWU official reminded that a petition supported by thousands of sugar workers was sent to President Granger but there has been no response as yet from the sugar company in relation to the concerns raised.
The union leader said he understands that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has provided a response to the President but there has been no further information on the issue from the President.
The union again called on the President to intervene in the matter.
“In the meantime, workers and their families continue to suffer. At this time, when many of their colleagues are preparing for a season of merriment, joy, and happiness thousands in the sugar belt face yet another grim season of sadness and despair,” he added.
At today’s briefing, the GAWU official also said the year 2019 would be recorded as a memorable one that provided a fair share of “ups and downs”.
He said the union and its workers have remained strong despite the challenges facing the industry today.
“Indeed, the workers of Guyana have to remain vigilant and look out for the wolves in sheep’s clothing, those who seek to destroy what current and past generations of workers have won,” he said.
Narine said as the year comes to a close, GAWU has noted that the country has found itself at the crossroads when it comes to nation-building and working together for greater progress.