THE July 31, 2021 Kaieteur News reported AFC Leader, Khemraj Ramjattan, as saying, among other things, the non-expenditure of the $400M allocated to GuySuCo for mechanisation was as a result of the GAWU seeking to ascertain how many workers would be affected by the programme. It appears to us Mr Ramjattan is a stranger to the truth or maybe he was grossly misinformed. For the sake of clarity, the union, at no time, was ever consulted by GuySuCo and/or the then Coalition Government on the programme. The union was not even aware that the programme was to be pursued until we learnt of it in the media recently. We, therefore, ask: would it be even possible for our union to request the information Mr Ramjattan purported we sought?
Our union, for the record, has not been averse to mechanisation in the sugar industry. We, in fact, engaged the lending institution during latter 2014 when the programme was conceptualised. Moreover, in advancing our position against closure, we again pointed to the real opportunities’ mechanisation offered. Therefore, we would have been more than foolhardy to seek the information it is said we requested. Our support for mechanisation is premised against several rationales including lessening the arduousness of work in the sugar industry while improving efficiency. We were aware too that the programme had no impact on labour but rather augmented the workforce.
The statements by Mr Ramjattan are symptomatic of an individual who has problems with the truth. Of course, the erstwhile gentleman has shown he is no friend of the sugar workers or the industry.