More retrenchment at Wales estate
Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) was very dismayed to have learnt that a number of the workers of Wales Estate who were retained after the estate ceased cane cultivation and sugar processing are soon to made redundant and will be retrenched. This latest move represents another severe blow to the already beleaguered communities and people of Wales.
The small workforce was being kept, among other things, to ensure that the Wales cultivation is in an ‘acceptable’ state as the estate was being transitioned to non-sugar crops. The fact that the GuySuCo has decided to engage in further retrenchments at Wales serve to indicate that the planned other crop division, like in its past incarnation, has not been successful. This point was succinctly made by the Wales workers at a press conference on October 10, 2017 when they revealed that the seed paddy experiment failed to live up to expectations. GuySuCo recently admitted that 27 bags of paddy per acre were obtained from the recent harvest. It was a steep shortfall from the 40 bags that should have been realized. Moreover, a significant proportion of the harvested paddy was not of seed paddy specification and had to be milled into rice which further compounded the woes.
Regarding the other spoken about ventures into cattle and dairy farming, orchard cultivation, aquaculture, etc we hardly hear any talk about them these days. GAWU did express our strong reservations about moving in this direction. Our Union pointed to the past failures as well as the absence of answers to many critical questions regarding the new endeavours, among other things. It seems that the GuySuCo intellectuals did not take our well-intentioned views into account and we have now arrived at this sad destination.
The GAWU has been advised that Wales Estate will also fall under the reach of the Special Purpose Unit ( SPU) which will seek, somehow, to retrieve the heavy damage that has already been inflicted by GuySuCo. We are indeed hopeful that something could be done bearing in mind the already difficult situation that has engulfed the Wales Estate area. (GAWU Release)