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By Leonard GildarieA letter to the largest sugar workers’ union which threatened derecognisation was meant as labour tactic and in no way served to terminate the relations with Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), officials said yesterday.The letter has elicited several condemnations from officials and organisations with President Bharrat Jagdeo saying over the weekend that the severing of labour ties with the union will not happen under his watch. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana also slammed it.On Sunday, Parliamentarian and senior member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Moses Nagamootoo,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, described the letter as intemperate and reckless.GuySuCo officials during the press conference yesterday. From left is Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Raj Singh, Chairman, Dr. Nanda Gopaul, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Bhim, and Senior Communications Officer, Mahendra Roopnarine.According to Nagamootoo, he is shocked that the government could condone the attack on the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) and the sugar workers; “and that leaders of my party, the PPP, would expect to be in silent conspiracy with this outrage against the vanguard of the working class movement in Guyana…I can no longer remain silent.”Minister of Agriculture,http://www.soccerpro.us.com/Atletico-Madrid-FC/, Robert Persaud, who was part of the President‘s delegation to Brazil and was away when the letter was issued by GuySuCo, also echoed the President that de-recognition is not and will never be contemplated.Yesterday, GAWU, in a statement, called for an independent probe to ascertain who made the decision and for disciplinary measures to be taken against the guilty party.Derecognise?At a press conference at the NCN studios yesterday, Chairman of GuySuCo,Cheap Wholesale Jerseys, Dr. Nanda Gopaul, explained that matter was being dealt in a professional manner but GAWU had decided to bring it within a public forum.Stressing that the threat to terminate the labour agreement, which dates back since the 70’s, was a move that had the intense consideration of the Corporation before the actual letter was issued. Gopaul said it was meant to galvanise the union to understand the harsh situation facing the industry.The official noted that nowhere in the world does an industry allow unions to behave the way GAWU does with 249 strikes already recorded for the year, in the sugar sector.The recent week-long strike which cost the industry over $1B actually ended up to almost two weeks with workers trickling back to work and further affecting production.No increaseThis year the industry has fallen to a new low with productions expected to only reach 220,000 tonnes, far below last year’s 234,000 tonnes and way off the adjusted target of 264,000 tonnes for 2010.The survival of the industry is even more important than any other issues now, he said.With more cane in the ground now than the last five years,Cheap Arizona Cardinals Hoodies, GuySuCo was realistically looking at 270,000 tonnes of sugar.With low labour turnout, bad weather and other factors, more than 400,000 tonnes of canes have to be carried over for the New Year.GuySuCo yesterday also ruled out any possibility of sugar workers being paid, saying simply that it just does not have the money now.According to the Chairman, what made the strike so maddening was the fact that GuySuCo had made an offer, contingent on production levels. Without even a counter-offer, as is the norm in negotiations, GAWU called for a week-long strike further exacerbating an already bad situation.It was a same thing in 2009 and is part of the “coercive” mechanisms by GAWU, he said.Presidential meetingThe official disclosed that 300-plus workers and representatives of the sugar estate are set to meet with the President at the International Convention Centre, Liliendaal, on Thursday to discuss several issues pertaining to the industry.According to Paul Bhim, the Chief Executive Officer, the situation is serious in the industry with Guyana also standing to lose a €60 increase on the price of sugar by Tate and Lyle, its biggest customer. Guyana has to deliver 192,000 tonnes of sugar between January and October next year if it is to be eligible for this 25 per cent increase in price per tonne.This translates to about €2.5M (US$3.28M) that Guyana could lose in extra revenue if it fails to meet the quota set by Tate and Lyle.Also at the press conference yesterday were Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Raj Singh, and Senior Communications Officer, Mahendra Roopnarine.Probe neededMeanwhile, GAWU in a press statement, said that it welcomes the statement of President Jagdeo, as reported in the media, that the union will not be derecognised in the sugar industry.According to the union,Cheap World Cup Jerseys 2018, bearing the President’s stance in mind,Cheap Soccer Jerseys Free Shipping, GuySuCo’s letter raises a very serious question pertaining to the industry’s management.“Apart from the President’s pronouncement, both the Ministers of Agriculture and Labour, when contacted, said they knew nothing of such decision.“GAWU is aware too, that GuySuCo’s Board did not meet for months. Some managers also denied any knowledge of a meeting where such a decision was taken. In this context then, a pertinent question arises who made such a decision that has obvious implications for the industry and which decision can only serve to undermine management-worker relations in the industry and worker’s well-being.”  GAWU felt that this is a mystery that should be investigated given its implications.“Who is the muddled-headed person/s who took upon himself/themselves to issue a threat to the union and which could have directly affected the sugar industry and workers’ livelihood?”With no acceptance of responsibility for the issuing of the letter threatening de-recognition, GAWU said it was calling for a withdrawal of the letter.Yesterday, GuySuCo had said that while there may not be a public withdrawal of the letter, it does not rule out the possibility of having it done during meetings with the union.“GAWU wishes to draw attention that such behaviour is practically, if not largely, responsible for the sad state the industry finds itself in for sometime (now). GAWU takes this opportunity to call for an urgent investigation into the roots of this threat and urges the importance of disciplinary measures.“GAWU will consider, favourably, any request to be included in such an investigating team.”Meanwhile, responding to Nagamootoo’s statements, Gopaul was dismissive.“Some presidential hopefuls can be desperate. I don’t want to get into the internal politics of any party but clearly you can see a lot of opportunism in what he has had to say without examining the facts and figures and without understanding the issues at hand.”According to the official, Nagamootoo could have done well to consult with his colleagues within the party (PPP) instead of clouding the issues.
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