“We must work together” – PM tells sugar workers at Skeldon, Rose Hall meetings

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 26, 2018

Leading the delegation, who met with retrenched sugar workers today at the Skeldon and Rose Hall Estates, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo called on workers and other stakeholders to work steadfastly with the Government to collectively find solutions for the ailing sugar industry.

Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo addressing Sugar Workers at Skeldon.

During his remarks, the Prime Minister reiterated that the government’s position is not to end sugar production but to reform the industry to a state of sustainability.

The more than 1,000 workers who are set to receive $500,000 and less were reassured that their pay will be available in the coming week. The Prime Minister expressed regret about GuySuCo’s current financial crisis, explaining that the situation is placing unsustainable strains on the treasury.

“Since we came into government nothing has been more important to us than the faith of sugar workers and the industry. We are not shutting down the sugar industry, GuySuco will remain in Sugar, it will concentrate on the estates that are productive.”

Prime Minister Nagamootoo extended a challenge to those assembled outside of the meeting saying, “this is not a political meeting this is a meeting for you… If we quarrel, if we row we will not find an answer, we have to work together”.

Sugar workers at Rose Hall.

Addressing recent spurious claims by the Opposition that this administration does not appreciate persons of Indian descent, Prime Minister Nagamootoo responded, “all of you are Guyanese and we all are looking to find a solution for this mess… protecting and saving three factories and estates with five sugar producing areas and 11,000 jobs at Albion. At Albion the majority are Indo Guyanese, at Blairmont the majority are Indo Guyanese, Wales and Uitvlugt are Indo Guyanese. How is it that we are being accused of going against Indians?”

Prime Minister assured those gathered that the Ministry of Business and other agencies are collaborating to provide training for the retrenched sugar workers.

He also noted that the government is currently engaging overseas investors through the Special Purpose Unit (SPU), which was established under National Industrial & Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), to ensure future job creation.

Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma addressing sugar workers at Rose Hall.

Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder addressing sugar workers at Rose Hall.

 

Sugar workers at Skeldon.

Sugar workers at Skeldon.

 

By: Gabreila Patram

 

For more photos, click on the link to the DPI’s Flickr Page

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