Albion sugar workers call on Govt to deliver on campaign promises
Workers attached to the Albion Sugar Factory on Thursday took to the streets to protest against the absence of a wage increase since the coalition Government took office.The workers were last given a wage increase in 2014 and as such, they are calling on the Government to deliver on its campaign promises.Stephen Indertatt, a representative of the Albion Estate fertilising gang, said during the coalition Government’s campaign programme, the nation was told that should they win the elections, sugar workers will benefit from a 20 per cent wage hike.He said although receiving nothing for the past three years, they are demanding aSugar workers at the Albion Sugar Estate on Thursday15 per cent wage hike for 2018.“Presently sugar workers are in dire need of increased wages. We need the Administration that is in power to intervene because they had promised us 20 per cent… They left us with zero.”Indertatt, who was part of Thursday’s protest action outside the Estate’s administration block, said Government has indicated its intention to increase the wages for other workers but has said nothing about them.He said Government is treating sugar workers like dogs, while they continue to give full support to the productive sector.Thursday’s strike attracted saw almost 100 per cent of harvesters and more than 75 per cent of factory workers.The strike also got support from the cultivation, mechanical tillage department and the field workshop. Workers from the central field workshop also took part in the strike on Thursday.“When [the Guyana Sugar Corporation] GuySuCo heard about this strike they were very upset. They say that we did it at Blairmont and that was okay but at Albion which a bigger estate that produces about 21,000 tonnes of sugar per week, we cannot afford to allow them to strike. So they invited us to a meeting on Wednesday,” the Union representative stated.He said the Union will attend the meeting. “We are hoping that they can come to the table with something to offer because these will do what it takes to ensure that they have something,” Tambron added.He explained that the workers have indicated to the union that they had enough and the union is finding it very difficult to hold them back from protesting.GuySuCo, he said, is setting the stage to show that the sugar industry is a failure as they did that at Rose Hall. The factory can grind but what they did is to allow the field to become overgrown.