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China Jersyes Cheap weeks had remained in the year

– GuySuCo, GAWU trade barbs As the standoff between the sugar industry and its workers enters its sixth day today, the Berbice business community has joined the call for normalcy to resume.In a joint statement issued by the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, fears were expressed over the fallout from the strike action which started Friday, and in which workers vowed to stay away for a week with the two unions refusing to budge.On Monday,Cheap Soccer Jerseys, the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) joined the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) in the strike.The beleaguered Skeldon factory. “Solutions have to be found immediately. It has to be fixed.”According to the Berbice Chambers yesterday, “should our worst fears be realized and the operations of the industry grind to a halt, the local economy will never be able to absorb the many thousands that will be unemployed, coupled with the direct negative effect this will have on the overall economic activity in the region.”The Chambers appealed for “good sense to prevail in light of the circumstances.”The organizations noted that they are fully cognizant of the many challenges faced by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) including the European Union price cuts, the ripping effects of the volatility on the world market as a result of the international financial meltdown, the erratic weather pattern as a result of climate change which has also affected other sectors in the region and the unstable industrial relations climate.“The Government’s commitment shown towards revitalizing the entire industry, particularly in this region where three of the largest estates are located, the efforts to increase sugar cane output to adequately meet production targets, the intense effort to service its markets and creditors, its drive towards expanding value added production through Project Gold at Enmore, are most commendable.”SKELDON FACTORY HAS TO BE FIXEDHowever, the Chambers expressed worry over the new Skeldon Sugar Factory which has been plagued with “way too many problems since its commissioning” and which simply cannot be overstated.“Solutions have to be found immediately. It has to be fixed.”According to the joint release, like the financial giant A.I.G. in the United States, the Skeldon factory simply cannot fail.“The current efforts underway to comprehensively address the technical problems at the Skeldon Factory are heartening. The constant disruption and forced shut down of the entire operations of the Corporation is not the solution to any of the problems affecting the industry or the sugar workers.”The Chambers, in criticizing the strike actions, said that they are extremely disappointed with the constant resort to strike actions by the unions representing sugar workers and by extension in the sugar workers themselves.“While we recognize and would defend the right to strike, the workers’ decision to withhold their labour at this juncture is grossly irresponsible at a time when the industry is depending on theproduction of every kilogram of sugar to earn desperately-needed revenue to sustain its day-to -day operations and continue supporting the projects it has invested in to take the industry towards profitability.”Underscoring the importance of sugar to Region Six, and noting that sugar is still ‘king’, the Chambers pointed out that thousands of workers earn a living from the industry to sustain their families.SEVERAL THOUSANDS“Several thousands more equally depend on the continued production of sugar at the estates of Skeldon, Albion and Rose Hall, where over the years several markets and other businesses have been established and are heavily reliant on the commerce of sugar workers and their families. Sugar is the bedrock of the local economy.”The Chambers also expressed worry over threats by GuySuCo that it is considering the possibility of temporarily closing all its operations, except in cases of essential services as during the current strike by GAWU workers it will be incurring heavy overhead expenses in some areas, including the payment of other staff, without any relevant revenue being generated.“The unions and the workers need to ask themselves what is to be gained from crippling the industry? How would their actions positively impact their economic situation and the future and stability of the industry?”The release also noted that while the workers have a right to protest for better wages, the timing is all wrong now.”“Frustration by citizens of Region 6 against the confrontational approach and insensitivity towards the reality of the sugar industry are mounting; as a result the Chambers are urging the striking workers and their unions to cease such terminal action and return to the negotiatingtable with the Corporation.”Meanwhile, both GAWU and GuySuCo issued separate statements.HYPOCRITICALAccording to GuySuCo, it is appalled at GAWU’s hypocritical stance. The Corporation took issue with statements of GAWU’s President, Komal Chand, who on a recent BBC Caribbean news programme effectively lay the blame on government.“The leader of the largest workers’ union in the sugar industry in the interview admitted that both his union and the workers recognize that their current strike action will seriously affect sugar production and went further to disclose that they were well aware of how necessary increased production was to alleviate the present financial circumstances of the industry.”According to GuySuCo, to engage in such a deliberate plan to cripple the industry is both hypocritical and outmoded.“The Corporation is left pondering how the union and workers expect it will find the necessary resources to sustain its operations and even more so offer any wage increase. Mr. Chand in his interview lashed out at the Government and Corporation for “having nothing coming forward which is why the workers felt that they at least must engage in some protest”.”Such a statement, GuySuCo said yesterday,NFL Jerseys China, could only be described as extremely ill-conceived, emotive and lacks empiric substance as it is already public knowledge that the workers were offered up to 5% in wages and salaries increases once specific targets were met.“The Corporation even offered to extend the current crop into the New Year to ensure the target was met as it was already confirmed even by Mr. Chand that enough canes were available. The Corporation’s offer was frowned upon by the union fully aware that the industry was not capable of paying beyond this point but it still kept demanding more. Now that this ill advised action was taken the entire issue of any increase must now be revisited and hangs in doubt.”The Corporation also pointed out that contrary to Chand’s assertions, Government which is the principal shareholder has made every effort to assist the industry in overcoming its current challenges.“From the first indication of the impending economic challenges internationally and the moves by large nations to protect their markets and industries; it was realized that the direct impact on the relatively small sugar industry in Guyana would be severe and prolonged,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, hence numerous interventions were made.”Pointing to several investments including the Enmore packaging plant and a $4B injection, GuySuCo noted several other forms of assistance including drainage and irrigation.“Further, GuySuCo informed the unions that Government was committed to our request for an advance of $2B to urgently address our backlog of creditors. Based on these facts it is clear that without the intervention and support of the Government, the sugar industry would have ceased its operation a few years ago.”Regarding the Skeldon factory, GuySuCo said that based on the admission of the GAWU President, it is clear that all stakeholders including, himself, were fully aware that the industry was heavily depending on the production of as much sugar as possible.“Thus,Cheap Jerseys For Sale, Mr. Chand’s call for a complete closure of the Skeldon factory to address all its technical problems at this point in time is clearly out of tune with reality, unsound, and not an option that makes any sense.”Additionally, GuySuCo noted that between private cane farmers and the Corporation at Skeldon, approximately 229,834 tonnes of canes; equivalent to 18,000 tonnes of sugar is still to be harvested for this crop.“In fact, Skeldon is the only factory that has been in operation throughout the current strike action by workers. Maybe the union leader was concerned with this aspect when he made the call to shut down the factory.”Yesterday, GAWU hit back at GuySuCo and stressed that workers’ purchasing power have endured a heavy beating in recent years.Over a five-year period, the compounded inflation rate was 42.77 per cent, using 2005 as the base year, while workers received a compounded wage increase of 31.26 per cent over the same period.“In other words, workers real wages fell by some 11.51 per cent.  This year,Wholesale Jerseys Authentic, the workers have been offered not even a black cent as pay increase, at this the eleventh month of the year.”According to GAWU, a production close to 250,000 tonnes is impossible at year end.“This was pellucid to the Corporation on November 09, 2010, given the average weekly production for the crop. At the time of that statement, just eight (8) weeks had remained in the year, most of which would be rainy weeks and thus not conducive to cane harvesting.”According to GAWU, the industry needs a life boat which can carry workers, management and the country to safety. “To salvage the current crisis, the workers must be treated with dignity and respect. The powers-that-be who cannot exonerate themselves from some of the past and present negative happenings of the industry are in the drivers’ seat.”