GEORGETOWN, Guyana, July 8, 2018 (CMC) – The Guyana government has informed more than 2,000 sugar workers, who were made redundant when some of the country’s sugar estates were closed, late last year, that they will soon receive the final portion of their outstanding severance pay.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, said, last Thursday, that Cabinet had discussed payment of the second tranche of severance, and reiterated its commitment to honouring the agreement to make the remaining payment, in the latter half of 2018.
He said the funds to meet the payment will come from amounts accumulated from budgetary cuts to several ministries and departments, in keeping with a previous directive by Cabinet.
“I did report…that several ministries were asked to do a cut-back on their budgetary allocations, and we anticipated that all of the monies will come from that process. Half of it has already been paid, and the second tranche will come directly from government sources and will be paid in the second half of the year,” Minister Harmon explained.
In February, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Paul Bhim, reported that up to that point, 1,400 ex-employees had received their full severance, with the remainder of them awaiting the remaining 50 percent.
About 3,700 employees were issued with severance letters and the government had approved the partial payment of the severance, but there was an adjustment made, and workers, due GUY$500,000, or less, was paid in full.
The downsizing of the sugar industry, to three estates, was among the recommendations, outlined in a state paper on the future of the sugar industry.
The end result will see GuySuCo consisting of three estates and sugar factories – Blairmont in West Bank Berbice, Albion-Rose Hall in East Berbice and the Uitvlugt-Wales Estate in West Demerara.