DPI, GUYANA, Friday, January 19, 2018

Some 1,600 sugar workers whose severances are $500,000 and less will receive their payment in full at the end of January.

This decision was made following a meeting between the government and the unions for the 4,763 redundant sugar workers of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said today.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan.

“I’m not saying they accepted it but we did put it to them. That proposal is to pay in full those whose severance is $500,000 and less and to continue to pay 50 percent as agreed with the others.”

The Finance Minister today initially brought a finance paper to the Committee of Supply, in National Assembly, for the sum of $1.75B for the payment of the sugar workers. Before voting on the allocation, Minister Jordan invoked Standing Order 76 to amend the figure to $1.931B.

While Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira objected to the non-written submittal of the amendment to the financial paper, Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, moved a motion, invoking Standing Order 121, for the suspension of Standing Order 76 to allow the amendment without a written submission.

“The exigency of the situation requires that we pay the sugar workers their severance and the House is gathered today for the purpose of approving the severance,” Minister Trotman noted.

The government side of the House won the motion for the amendment without written submission and the supplementary appropriation was subsequently approved and passed as amended.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder told the Department of Public Information (DPI) following the approval of the supplementary provision that “one-third of the 4.763 workers would have been totally paid off for their service”.

Minister Holder assured that all benefits owed to the sugar workers will be paid by GuySuCo. “It all there in the cash flow for the company (GuySuCo) ) for this year, it’s all budgeted for it will be paid.”

The government has to pay out a total of $4.24B to redundant sugar workers. While the 2018 National Budget allocates $500M, this supplementary allocation will cover just over half of that pay-out.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said that today was a good day for sugar workers. “Today is a very great day in the National Assembly, the coalition government was able to pull together as much as it can to pay one half of the severance to some of the workers who are entitled to $500,000 and more and to pay 100 percent to all those who fall below.”


By: Tiffny Rhodius


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