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Guysuco Workers Strike Action Significantly Affecting Sugar Production

Another round of strike action by sugar workers attached to the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union has the sugar company Guysuco worried and the company may have good reason to be. The strike action is industry wide. All estates were affected today. And Guysuco is reporting that it has been significantly affected.

Already Guysuco may be facing yet another dismal year in sugar production. The Skeldon Estate is still to really get going. Markets are being lost and those sugar price cuts are already adding leaving a bitter taste behind for the industry.

Add all those problems to this latest strike action and the result could be a financially crippled sugar industry, according to insiders.

This evening the company is already counting millions of dollars in losses and it was just day one of the strike action.

Just last week Guysuco was complaining about the low turnout by harvesters which resulted in shortages of cane at various estates. But while Guysuco was complaining about that, the workers and their unions were complaining about their working conditions and the need for their salaries to be improved.

But the company says it remains committed to ensuring improved remuneration for the workers but at the same time it us urging the labour force to understand the challenges it faces.

According to Guysuco, the union has indicated that the strike action is aimed at applying pressure on the Corporation into making an across the board wages and salaries increase for 2010.

But the company maintains that any offer for wages and salaries increase for this year must be contingent on the industry at least achieving the revised target of 264,000 tonnes of sugar.

Today the company said it is also important to note that last week was the only week the Corporation achieved 9,800 tonnes of sugar and with ten weeks remaining for the 2nd crop, the industry will have to produce in excess of 10,000 tonnes weekly to achieve the 2010 target.

Already for this year, Guysuco has been hit with several strike actions at various estates for different reasons and the company’s best efforts to keep workers on the grind have proven a failure.

The decline facing the industry today is not like anything the company has seen in recent years and a quick rebound is what the corporation appears to be placing all bets on.

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