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Sugar workers arrested for blocking road during protest

Several sugar workers were this morning arrested for blocking the road at East Canje, Berbice as they continued to protest.

With plans afoot to reopen the Rose Hall Estate in Berbice by September month-end, some 270 workers were supposed to be transferred from the Albion and Blairmont Sugar Estates to work there.

Some of these workers were initially transferred to Albion and Blairmont when the Rose Hall Estate was closed in 2017 under the APNU/AFC government. As such, they were not retrenched and they did not receive severance. They also did not receive the one-off cash grant government had distributed to sugar workers who were left jobless when the coalition administration had downsized the sugar industry.

But now, these workers are objecting to the relocation back to Rose Hall, staging a strike action that has gone on for more than three weeks. While the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has since announced that they will no longer be transferred, the workers are still protesting, demanding severance.

As they continued this protest action today, police had to resort to using force to break-up the demonstration.

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The government has already made it clear that these protesting workers are not entitled to severance, since they were not severed when the sugar industry was downsized.