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A countrywide strike in the sugar industry on Monday ended yesterday with the majority of workers reporting for duty.However, officials reported yesterday that at the Rose Hall and LBI estates, four gangs of workers comprising almost 600 persons, indicated that they would not be working for the day.There was smoke from the Wales estate yesterday on the West Bank of Demerara, evidence of grinding, as workers there said that the strike is over.Workers returned to work at the Wales sugar estate yesterday, but pockets of canecutters at LBI and Rose Hall refused to do so for the day.But the effect of the strike is far from over for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).According to Chief Executive Officer, Paul Bhim, yesterday, as is the case whenever work stoppages take place, it takes awhile before operations are normalised.An estimated 11,000 workers downed tools on Monday, demanding a 15% across-the-board salary increase.However, GuySuCo has said that any offer from them is dependent on the targeted 264,000 tonnes of sugar being met.The Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU), in a statement,Wholesale China Jerseys, had indicated that thousands of workers took part in the countrywide strike for an appropriate increase in wages and salaries for 2010.“Despite a number of meetings between the Corporation and the union,Wholesale NFL Jerseys Online, including discussions with the Chief Executive Officer (ag) of the Corporation and the Chairman of Guysuco’s Board, the Corporation continues to avoid reference to any upward adjustment of its remuneration.”The union said that it was reminded of “the ridiculously low percentage wage/salary increase” despite the heightening cost of living.“The Corporation’s current predicament of securing under 60 per cent attendance of cane cutters on any working day to harvest canes is a result of the continuous falling purchasing power of the workers evidenced by inflation rates overtaking real increase in pay in recent years.”GAWU also pointed out that it was normal in previous years, before the first week in October, GuySuCo had been able to indicate a percentage of pay hike.Already,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, from 280,000 tonnes, GuySuCo has revised this target downward. Industry officials are uncertain whether this target can be met with more than 10,000 tonnes required weekly, a tall order with the current dismal attendance record – just under 60%.The biggest fear for GuySuCo now is rains,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, expected in December,Discount NFL Jerseys, which may further throw a spanner in the works.According to Seepaul Narine, General Secretary of GAWU, the union is now awaiting a meeting with GuySuCo to discuss the increase,Cheap Jerseys Store, among other issues. Some 52 representatives of GAWU across the country are set for that meeting.Bhim yesterday was clear that GuySuCo’s stance is to have negotiations while workers are back on the job.GuySuCo on Monday said it just cannot meet any demands unless production increases.GAWU is arguing that the explanations offered by the Corporation do not make sense.It was only a few days ago that the Corporation met with GAWU and NAACIE representatives, where a dismal state of affairs of the sugar industry was painted. Workers’ attendance stood at an estimated 57 per cent as at recent weeks and unless the situation drastically improves, even the revised target of 264,000 tonnes would be under threat.According to GuySuCo, the highest attendance for the current crop was 68 per cent at Blairmont while the lowest was 43 per cent at Skeldon – with an industry average of 57 per cent.
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