GuySuCo unable to pay production bonus to sugar workers
Sugar workers are unlikely to receive any production bonus this year, GAWU said Wednesday. The claims of the non-payment were made yesterday by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU).
The union, the largest sugar union in Guyana, explained that the Annual Production Incentive (API) was previously known as Annual Production Bonus (APB). It came into being in 1952. The industry then was under private ownership. “This incentive to a section of the productive workforce continued after nationalization which took place under the Administration of L.F.S. Burnham who assured the workers on Vesting Day – May 26, 1976 – that their “conditions of employment shall not be less favorable.” This commitment has been honored until last year”, GAWU said in a statement. According to the union, this year, from what can be determined, the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) seemingly did not want in the first place to even discuss with the bonus. “The corporation wrote to the union seeking the basis of its claim. GAWU, in response, pointed out that its claim is related to whatever quantity of sugar is produced, as is always, and no other factor.
Following the GAWU’s response, the corporation on November 24, 2016 engaged the Union in a session. “GuySuCo’s lead person at the meeting, apparently, was in a hurry to convey to the union’s delegation from the estates and union officials that the company’s financial position precluded any API award.” Furthermore, GuySuCo advised that its position was consistent with its no pay rise position this year (2016).