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|The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has succeeded in presenting a narrative to society that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), during the A Partnership of National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), dismissed 7000 sugar workers. The narrative picked up by the media has since become accepted as the truth. However, the ‘International Labour Organisation Study of the socio-economic impact of the closure of GUYSUCO sugar estates on sugar workers in Guyana,’ presents a different figure.
According to the Report “While in 2012 there were three estates that added to the company’s profit position, a stark reality has been that since then, all the sugar estates were loss-making. Of those seven estates, the four with the worst average performance were Skeldon, East Demerara, Uitvtlugt and Wales in 2011-2013, and Wales (alone) in 2014.”
Skeldon was deemed the worst performing of all estates. The failure has been attributed to the failed Skeldon Sugar Expansion Project that involved the over US$200 million Factory. At the time of the investment, the sum was larger than the National Budget.
5160 workers were laid off during the coalition administration as stated in the Report and based on information provided by GuySuCo.
The figures, presented on page 31, show there were 937 workers at Wales, 1531 at East Demerara, 903 at Rose Hall, and 1789 at Skeldon. The average severance pay to the laid off workers, as shown on page 37, is: at Wales Estate $613,800.00; East Demerara $611, 600.00; Rose Hall $1, 227, 642.00, and Skeldon $1,001,600.00. The categories of workers affected are, 95 senior staff; 31 junior staff ; and 4751workers.
Total GuySuCo Employment, 2006–2015 (p 25)
Source- Ministry of Agriculture (2017)
The information provided by GuySuCo and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Read the Report here