PM condemns Opposition for capitalising on sufferings of sugar workers

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, January 19, 2018   

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo called out the Opposition for their “delaying tactics” towards the government’s efforts to find funds to pay out severance to redundant sugar workers.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.

Today, Prime Minister Nagamootoo condemned the Opposition for using sugar workers for political mileage following the approval of a $1.931B supplementary allocation in the National Assembly towards the severance of the more than 4,000 sugar workers.

“For me, it was an emotional experience to sit there and seeing an opposition trying to frustrate the efforts of the government to find monies to pay the severance. They are actually celebrating the pauperisation of sugar workers and they are capitalising on their sufferings.”

The Opposition raised their objection to the permitting of the amendment of the figure of the supplementary allocation because there was no written submission. However, a government motion overcame those objections.

The Prime Minister noted that he was “disgusted” with the Opposition for misleading sugar workers. “I know the issue was portrayed by the Opposition as being that the government and GuySuCo were not paying the workers any severance. They went to the grassroots and tell people that they will not receive any severance pay,” he noted.

The government is working with unions to find alternative livelihoods for the redundant workers. “Today was a better experience that the unions came forward and that they want to work with GuySuCo  and all other related agencies to see how we can be able to deal with the impact of closure of estates and the modernisation of the sugar industry so that they do not suffer unduly,” the Prime Minister said.

Today’s supplementary approval will see some 1,600 sugar workers whose severance is $500,000 or less receive their full severance at the end of January while the remaining will receive half as previously indicated by President David Granger.

PM Nagamootoo made it clear that the government is working to secure the continuation of the sugar industry and the jobs of the remaining 11,000 workers contrary to the contentions of the Opposition. “We are in support of sugar workers. We know what any merger of the estate will cause, we’re trying to save the sugar industry.”


By: Tiffny Rhodius


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