More re­trench­ment at Wales es­tate

Weekend Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -


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)

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