Close to 100 cane cutters who were transferred to the Albion estate from Rose Hall after the Rose Hall operations were shut down in 2017, staged a picketing action this morning to complain about the working conditions at Albion.
In a statement, the workers union, Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union, explained that today marked the second day that the workers protested to express their concern about the difficult and harsh working-conditions that they have to endure at Albion, since taking up the jobs there a year ago.
The workers claim that on some days, they are unable to earn as they are insufficient punts to transport the cane and that result’s in them losing a day’s pay.
Some have also complained about the distance they have to travel to reach the sugar estate daily.
According to GAWU, the workers pointed out that GuySuCo had indicated to them prior to their transfer, that they would be working in the section of the Rose Hall cultivation that was close to the Albion Estate. But that turned out to not be the case.
In a statement, the Guyana Sugar Corporation criticised the strike action and said that it goes against the labour agreement that was signed onto by the union and the company.
Guysuco has declared that that the strike action is illegal and is in breach of the ‘Extant Collective Labour Agreement’ existing between GuySuCo and representative Union, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU).
According to Guysuco, the job opportunities for employees from Rose Hall Estate at Albion and Blairmont Estates, formed part of the Corporation’s response to the engagements since 2017, between the Corporation and these employees as well as many stakeholders including GAWU, to explore all possibilities to maintain employment for as many employees as possible from the Rose Hall Estate .
Some of the workers who were transferred and kept in the employ of the state owned company, now want to claim their severance packages.