GuySuCo already rehiring laid-off employees
−as preparations begin for reopening of three estates
Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Sasenarine Singh says some of the workers who were laid off in 2017 have already been rehired, as plans to reopen several sugar estates progress.
The CEO made this disclosure today, during a tour of the Uitvlugt estate.
Singh said former sugar workers will be given priority consideration, even as he provided an outline of the way forward.
“According to the work plan we have, 442 people will be rehired by Christmas of this year, that’s in about 11 weeks. They have already hired about 200 of those already but as the work expands, they will continue to hire.”
It was noted that when estates were closed in 2017, between 6,000 and 6,500 workers were put out of jobs. Taking this into consideration, the plan for reopening will employ a holistic approach the company looks to modernise and reemploy workers.
“By 2023-2024, when the full project is up and running, and all three estates fully functional, I don’t think we will ever go back to the 6,500 but it will be more than 3,000 persons who will be coming back to the industry… Because of the efficiencies that are coming into flow, this is why we will not be able to go back to the 6500. Most importantly, a lot of people have evolved into new fields of work,” Singh said.
Of the $3billion allocated to start revitalising the sector, $2.2 billion will be invested in reopening three sugar estates, over a number of years, starting with the one at Rose Hall. The other two, Skeldon and Enmore, will also be prepared for reopening.
The remaining $800M will go towards the other three estates that are currently operating; Blairmont, West Bank Berbice; Albion-Rose Hall in East Berbice, and the Uitvlugt-Wales estate in West Demerara.
Rose Hall is expected to start grinding cane by the first crop of 2022, which is believed to be the breakthrough year for the local sugar industry.
“The good news I got from Rose Hall is that they started clearing the land for the planting of cane and that is a big and important step because once that cane is planted, an entire project plan is developed. It means… a factory has to receive it. You can’t plant cane and leave it in the ground, you have to grind it,” the CEO explained.
The measures being put in place are all in keeping with the administration’s plan to convert GuySuCo from a three to a six-factory company. The company’s work programme also includes the maintenance of roads, dams, drainage and irrigation structures, training for youth, and health care.
Added to this, the CEO said the company will also be exploring ways to capitalise on value-added production. The overall intention, he said, is to reduce production cost and increase revenues for the Corporation.