THE Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) reported that another strike has been staged on Tuesday by 1700 workers in the sugar industry.In a telephone interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), GuySuCo Finance Director Paul Bhim said the impact of the strike will be known tomorrow. The first crop has only recently commenced, and GINA reported on Monday that the corporation was on track with its production of 11,243 tonnes (as of Monday).
All the factories recently started grinding, with the exception of Skeldon, which is due to begin on Thursday. This first crop target is 80,500 tonnes.
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has said it would be calling a 24-hour strike every Tuesday to press for negotiations to iron out issues relating to wages, the Annual Production Incentive (API), and closure of the Wales estate.
GINA has said that the corporation has already made clear its position on these matters, in light of its financial situation, which it is working to reverse.
GuySuCo has said that a huge investment is needed for rehabilitation of the Wales estate, and it cannot afford that needed sum.
On the issue of the API, GuySuCo has said it can afford only two-and-a-half days, but the union has been clamouring for five-and-a-half days.
The industry is seeking to continue reversing its ineffective performance and eventually return to profitability. The merging of the Wales and Uitvlugt estates is one of the measures being taken to ensure this goal is achieved.
The overall target for 2016 is approximately 240,000 tonnes. Although the company achieved the 2015 production target, it still has to battle weakening prices, aged machinery, and high production costs; hence Government has approved the sum of $9 billion for the corporation for 2016.