AFC’s Ramsaroop pays his workers 50% less than Guyana’s minimum wage
EVERY time there is a crisis in the sugar industry, the AFC cabal runs with false sympathy and support. The AFC’s real intention is that of wooing the sugar workers away from supporting the People’s Progressive Party, which has consistently kept faith with the sugar workers and has tried to keep the sugar industry sustainable and viable, despite the staggering blow delivered against the industry by the European Union with its devastating price cuts, external economic and marketing dynamics in a global economy that is reeling from one blow after another, and the anomalies of climate change, not to mention factories that urgently need recapitalisation that has not been possible because when the sugar sector was enjoying preferential prices and was enjoying its glory days, the Burnham regime, instead of rehabilitating the centuries-old sugar mills, siphoned $16 billion in sugar levy to support the bauxite industry, fund the public service, the GNS and other para-military organisations, such as the GPM.
QUOTE: The working class people are mere fodder in the machinery taking Ramjattan and his elitist cohorts up the political ladder.
Yet, despite its show of concern and its constant agitation of sugar workers against the government, every time the government makes an intervention to restore the viability of the industry, the AFC in general, and specifically Khemraj Ramjattan shoots it down.
When the government attempted to empower the Guyanese people, strategising to simultaneously aid two sectors and thousands of the nation’s working class people and their families through purchasing GuySuCo abandoned lands to boost government’s home ownership programme, with GuySuCo receiving a $4 billion shot in the arm and the housing ministry acquiring additional lands to enable thousands more working-class Guyanese and their families to own their own homes, Ramjattan and the opposition cabal, including their friends in the anti-government media went on the offensive, even taking Housing Minister Irfaan Ali before the Privileges Committee.
A $4 billion allocation in the budget to subsidise the industry and help to keep approximately 100,000 persons who depend on the industry – either directly or indirectly for their survival made the AFC pretenders foam at the mouth and scream “bailout”, even while they have no problem with Lindeners enjoying, and wasting, free electricity at the expense of ordinary Guyanese taxpayers, including sugar workers.
QUOTE: Recently, AFC executive member, Gerhardt Ramsaroop admitted that he pays a poor Amerindian family of four a total of $60,000 per month to work on his flower farm.This equates to $15,000 per person per month, which is way below 50% of the national minimum wage.
Recently, AFC executive member, Gerhardt Ramsaroop admitted that he pays a poor Amerindian family of four a total of $60,000 per month to work on his flower farm. This equates to $15,000 per person per month, which is way below 50% of the national minimum wage.
These people live in a cramped hovel in forest-like conditions, with little children who also do odd chores, with all covered by the $60,000.
They live so far inland on a vast estate owned by Ramsaroop that it is doubtful whether they can attend school, or if so, whether they do so regularly. They have no potable water, nor any electricity, and the budget cuts by Ramsaroop’s party would certainly ensure that they never access a solar panel that the government had planned for the Amerindian people.
The painful reality is that Ramsaroop can easily afford to pay these people well and to afford them some comfortable housing, unlike cash-strapped GuySuCo, because, apart from the huge fees he collects as an IT consultant, each bouquet sells for a minimum of $5,000, and his father left him tremendous goodwill with the hospitality industry and the business community, apart from the sales he racks up during holidays and special events such as parties, weddings, funerals, and various special occasions.
And an AFC executive is asking about the fate of $117 million, as well as millions more that was sourced from supporters from the diaspora and local businessmen, and fund-raisers that was given to Ramsaroop and other party executives during the elections, especially given the fact that they hardly ran ads because most of their PR was free through the opposition media collective, and campaign resources, such as sound systems were provided free of cost by supporters.
But the real face of the AFC is being revealed, bit by bit, as layer by layer their duplicity and corrupt practices, as well as their anti-poor, anti-worker sentiments are being laid bare for their supporters and the world at large to see.
Currently a few of their parliamentarians, including the Berbician MP, are prostituting their duty-free concessions for big bucks.
When appealed to with the fact that even AFC supporters may be forced to go home because of the senseless and vindictive budgetary cuts, Ramjattan responded, “if they gotta go, then they gotta go”, calling them collateral damage.
The working class people are mere fodder in the machinery taking Ramjattan and his elitist cohorts up the political ladder.
As he asked of Yusuf, what did he contribute to the party? The man’s years of sacrifices, his hard work, his loyalty, the relationships he may have lost because of the choices that he made have absolutely no value to Ramjattan and the AFC leaders, because these are mere “collateral damage.”
One can imagine if the two opposition parties ever get control of the nation’s treasury what the outcome would be.