Albion Estate workers protest 75% wage reduction

first_imgA group of enraged workers attached to the Albion Sugar Estate in Berbice on Wednesday protested their employer, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) for its decision to reduce their earnings for canal cleaning by some 75 per cent. The workers expressed great frustration over the wages, having observed that to clean a four-foot canal, they are being paid $56 to clean each rod.One of the operators, Gopaul Singh, told Guyana Times that the workers are being offered less money even though they are cleaning wider canals.“The rate before was $225 per rod and somebody came from the office inWorkers protesting at Albion on Wednesday, following GuySuCo’s decision to cut their wagesGeorgetown and set that rate down. They cut it by 75 per cent without saying one word to us that they paying you that; no consultation,” Singh highlighted.Singh added that management at the Estate promised that there would be full consultation in the future. However, the workers staged a two-day strike on Monday and Tuesday and when they informed management that they were going to resume work on Wednesday; they were reportedly told that the Estate had no work for them.“We are contending that they should pay the $225 until they have such matters resolved as to a rate they want to pay,” Singh stressed.Another worker, Nazir Hussain told this publication that what was done to workers was us unfair.“They did not ask us anything. They just came to a conclusion at $56, which is wrong and we and management tried to discuss it but it going in a circle,” he said.Meanwhile, security at the Albion Estate called in the Police when this publication met with the aggrieved workers. The security personal also allegedly threatened a private poultry farmer that they will stop him from using the estate dam if he allowed this news entity to use his private land to access the area.The sugar industry has been encountering significant challenges over the last several years with European markets having shelved preferential payments for sugar. Government after assuming office has implemented several austerity measures including the closure of several estates – Wales, East Demerara, Skeldon and Rose Hall. However, many of thousands of workers who lost employment say they have been finding great difficulty in garnering alternative employment.For those who remain, they have been complaining about not seeing wage increases or Annual Production Incentives (API). The three estates that remain in operation are Uitvlugt, Albion and Blairmont. The others which were closed over the last two years have ceased operations to attract investors.last_img

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