Concerned about the impact that the closure of the Rose Hall sugar estate could have on their community, hundreds of Rose Hall residents joined sugar workers this morning in a 4 mile march against the planned closure.
Workers have been protesting government’s proposal for weeks. The Government has indicated that it is being forced to close the Rose Hall estate as part of recommended plans to divest and save the industry.
This morning’s march was one of the largest against the estate closure. Residents and workers carried placards, indicating their worry about their livelihood. Many of them fear that their community could find itself in economic ruin, if the estate closes and workers are sent home.
During the protest march today, several speakers from the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union and the Opposition, People’s Progressive Party, loudly proclaimed their opposition to any move to close the estate.
According to GAWU, the speakers made it clear that they will continue to put up a fight.
They also called on the Administration to listen to the cries of people and abandon their “shortsighted plans for sugar”
The Rose Hall Estate employs some 2,300 workers. Many of them have indicated that their families will be directly hit by the closure since the breadwinners in the family are all employed by the sugar industry in the area.
The workers union believe that the wide participation of residents in the protest, justify the many concerns that have been raised.
“The people are rightly fearful that their tranquil communities would be destroyed, families broken up and they will be increased incidences of crime and other social problems. They are urging the Administration to re-look at their plans which will clearly be a Government-made disaster”, the Union said.