GUYSUCO, union should meet to iron out salary increases -Min. Jordan
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Finance Minister, Honourable Winston Jordan has again put to rest misinformation regarding the payment of salary increases to workers of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), noting that such a move is within the remit of the sugar entity.
Following the announcement of retroactive salary increases for public sector workers last month, sugar workers have been clamouring for similar payouts. However, Minister Jordan had noted that the company, partly owned by the government, is operating as a private unit.
“GuySuCo has a board and a company that is running it. If it has the wherewithal to pay salary increases, I imagine that after collective bargaining and negotiations with the union, they will present their numbers and they will come to some decision,” he told the Department of Public Information today.
The minister opined that the union may not want to meet with the corporation since it is fully aware of the entity’s financial situation.
A $30 Billion bond, loaned by Republic Bank is “literally keeping GuySuCo afloat,” the minister said.
He slammed the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for suggesting that the bond money be used to pay increases. “Of course, he loves to grandstand. The bond is being taken from the Republic Bank for specific purposes. The bulk of the money is for capital programmes itself,” he said
According to him, the money earned by GuySuCo through the production and sale of sugar will help with some of the current operations, including salaries.
“It is the union that has to meet with GuySuCo’s management to determine the feasibility of the back pay,” he argued.
Minister Jordan said the opposition continues to push issues such as the sugar workers’ pay while quite aware that it had drained the economy during its administration.
“These are the same people who built the Marriot Hotel with taxpayers’ money, who took a loan from Republic Bank, and it is the taxpayers who have to pay back this loan at the moment. And these are the same people that bankrupted the sugar industry and left the debts for this government to pay. We are paying all the loans that the last government took to build Skeldon estate. We are paying those loans every month. These are the same people who left all the debts and challenges with this govt. same people want us to find the money to pay sugar workers.”
Minister Jordan said the government is already working tirelessly to bring the salaries of public servants to a decent level.