Protests greet Nagamootoo in Berbice outreach

  • 1,600 Berbice sugar workers to receive severance on Tuesday – PM

Sugar workers whose services were terminated following the closure of the Skeldon and Rose Hall, Canje Estates will now

The gathering at Welfare Ground, East Canje, Berbice.

breathe a sigh of relief after it was announced by the Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo that over 1600 retrenched sugar workers will receive their severance as soon as Tuesday.
This announcement was made during a Ministers’ outreach in Region Six involving Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma. The meeting was initially hosted in the auditorium of the Skeldon Community Centre.
However, workers complained of the accommodation and shouted from outside the building: “We ain’t hearing nothing, half a’ we deh outside and half inside. What sense that mek?”
They then demanded that the PM come out and address everyone outside. The workers’ requests were heard and the PM along with the other Ministers agreed to speak with everyone outside the auditorium.
Nagamootoo told the gathering that nearly 1000 sugar workers who earned below $500,000 will receive their full payment, while the remainder will receive half. “Later on in the year, you will have the other half”.
It was said by the Prime Minister that the sooner the government saves and collects revenues from persons who are not paying their taxes, then they can advance monies to GuySuCo to pay the other half.
Nagamootoo added that 11,000 sugar workers’ jobs are being protected by the actions the government has taken.
He noted that since the coalition took office, the fate of the sugar workers and the sugar industry has always been important.
“We are not shutting the industry down, GuySuCo will remain in sugar; it will concentrate on the estates that are productive,” the PM assured.
According to Nagamootoo 20% and more of the cane is supplied by the sugar workers who plant the cane on their private plot of lands. The sugar workers must be given lands and they must be able to participate in the growing of sugar and eventually sell to the factory, he said.
“We want sugar workers to be able to have at least one acre of land if you want to plant an alternative crop. If you want to get into cash crops, aquaculture and to bring investors to invest in those areas when you have cash crop,” he told this gathering.
It is his belief that such economic activities can lead to very successful agro-processing with the canning and exportation of refined agro goods. These were options put forth by the workers who are currently jobless. He stated that the children of the workers will be sent to acquire training. This will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Business and other agencies.
“The government will ensure that the training school is taken over so that there will be a place to send their children to be trained so that they can meet the requirements of the new oil and gas industry,” he said.

– PM Moses Nagamootoo addressing the sugar workers.

Meanwhile, Agricultural Minister, Noel Holder, in his address to the workers stated that severance will be paid on Monday. He stated that the government has ensured that, “over $2B or more than 50% of your severance will be paid commencing next Monday”.

Holder disclosed that it will provide access to financing for revolving micro-loans to the sum of $100M for entrepreneurial endeavours, “these can be accessed to The Small Business Bureau of the Ministry of Business”.
He explained that it is the government’s aim to focus on the transitioning of ex-employees into entrepreneurs, including farmers with the objective to determine the best operational model for transitioning redundant GuySuCo employees at Wales, Rose Hall and Skeldon estates into independent, self-sufficient, sustainable and successful businessmen. This, he noted, will include leasing lands to workers and capacity building.
Holder divulged that GuySuco has embarked on a ‘Sustainable Communities Programme’ that will continue for the next two to three years. The programme includes three components; economic resilience, social resilience and environmental resilience. He divulged that GuySuCo has had a training of trainers programme in marketing, business management and citrus and coconut cultivation.
“They have trained ex-employees in new skills such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing and other small business enterprises and have trained doctors and other health personnel is psychosocial support”.
He assured that the government will continue to engage with stakeholders at all levels, including working with GAWU, NAACIE and workers “with the aim of reforming the industry to a more viable and sustainable one”.
Meetings were held at the Skeldon Community Centre ground and Welfare ground, Canje, Berbice

Original Post

There was no protest.  Randolph were you there? Here is a comment from a reporter exposing Stabroek Fake News.

HAHAHAHAHA stab/news peddling lies and PPP propaganda, the meeting started indoors because they were not expecting a large turn out, but the crowd grew and they had to move the venue outside to accommodate the large gathering, those former workers listen attentively to the Prime Minister who explain to them why the sugar estate were consolidating, yes there was a small opposition crowd who tried to break up Prime MIn Moses speech, but they were unsuccessful, they included Harry Gill, those workers were applauding our Prime Minister as he gave his speech, after the successful meeting, former sugar workers were praising the Govt for coming and explaining to them, because the PPP were telling them lies about govt will not pay them, now they believe in the Govt and said Govt should have come and explain to them earlier so everybody would have understand, STAB/NEWS YOUR AGENDA WILL NOT SUCCEED, YOU WILL BE EXPOSE, GUYANESE WILL SEE THAT YOU ARE A TROUBLE MAKER AND A DIVIDER TO THE COUNTRY OF GUYANA.........


MY GUYANESE PEOPLE, PLEASE HAVE A READ OF WHAT TRANSPIRED, THE CHRONICLE NEWS PAPER............

http://guyanachronicle.com/...

Moderator's note: Had no idea you were a reporter and attended

Source:

PM in stormy meetings with ex-sugar workers in Berbice

-severance payments to begin on Tuesday.

Source

Jan 27,2018

Protesters greeted Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government officials at stormy meetings yesterday at Canje and Skeldon where former sugar workers were told that they will begin receiving severance from Tuesday but there was little information on alternative employment.

The sugar industry has been convulsed by the severing of 4,763 workers at the end of December last year. Of that number, 1,851 are from the Skeldon Estate and 1,181 from Rose Hall. The APNU+AFC government had been accused of not reaching out to the workers, particularly in the Berbice sugar belt and failing to come up with options for them. Nagamootoo’s visit and a similar one to Enmore yesterday by another ministerial team (see story on page 14) were the first outreaches since the redundancies were announced last month by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

Nagamootoo, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and Minister in the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul Sharma, told the former sugar workers in Skeldon and Canje that over 1,000 persons would receive their entire severance package from Tuesday. At both locations, the PM and his team were greeted by dozens of irate protesters, while others attempted to disrupt his speeches. Some of the ex-sugar workers also stormed out of the meetings.

However, Nagamootoo continued with his presentation at both locations and announced that from Tuesday persons whose severance payments amounted to lower than $500,000 would receive their entire package. The others will receive a portion of their severance package and the remainder in the second half of the year. The PM, who hails from Whim  on the Corentyne,  said that 1,600 persons are expected to receive either their entire severance package or half.

Part of the protest at Canje

Nagamootoo told the gatherings that the government will begin to cut monies from ministries and travelling of government officials, among other things, to raise the entire sum to pay the sugar workers. However, he stressed that the money can only be paid to the sugar workers once government has it “…and then later in the year you will have the other half.” He added, “When we collect more revenues from people who are not paying their taxes, we will be able to advance money to GuySuCo and pay the other half”.

Since GuySuCo was not in a position to pay the severance, the government has been strongly criticised for not making adequate allocations for severance in the 2018 budget which was presented just weeks before the sugar corporation announced the thousands of redundancies.

Nagamootoo spoke at the Skeldon Community Centre Ground and the Rose Hall, Canje Community Centre Ground, where at both locations he was greeted by hundreds of protestors telling him that he was not welcomed in the region nor did he care for the former sugar workers, who were left jobless due to the closure of the estates.

As a former senior member of the opposition PPP, Nagamootoo had had a long association with sugar workers and had been seen as one of the most popular PPP executives on the Corentyne.

Investors

He told the persons who remained after the walkouts yesterday that the government is scouting for investors so as to create employment within the regions for the persons who were affected. He said, “We want investors to come and to create jobs, to operate the factories, to operate fields, whatever they want to do with it, so when an investor comes here in Skeldon they will still need workers”.

He also said, “And when investors come they will provide guaranteed employment to people who we are trying now, through cooperation with the Ministry of Business and other agencies, to send for retraining.”

He added, “The children of sugar workers, the government will ensure that the training school is taken over [so] that they can have a place to send their children to be trained so that they can meet the requirements of the new oil and gas industry…. By 2020 Guyana will be producing oil.”

The government has been flayed for not coming up with alternative livelihoods for workers from Wales to Skeldon even though it had been aware since the middle of 2015 of the dire straits that GuySuCo was in.

Nagamootoo also said that openings at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA)  will be offered to the unemployed workers.  He noted that estates will require people who will work with NDIA to “maintain the infrastructure, to maintain drainage and irrigation, so jobs will be available, jobs will be available to those who can man the pumps,” Nagamootoo said.

This statement jars with the announcement days ago that around 900 GuSuCo workers were being severed from the NDIA positions that they held.

During both presentations, Nagamootoo took a swipe at the opposition, charging that they are responsible for mismanaging GuySuCo while in government by appointing “politicians to run the sugar industry.”

He also charged that the opposition has been saying that the government closed estates on the basis of race. However, he said that this was far from the case and that the government was on the path of reforming the sugar corporation.

Protecting

“We are protecting and saving three factories. 11,000 workers’ jobs are being protected, where the majority of workers are Indo-Guyanese,” he emphasised.

At both locations, workers who protested entered the compound to listen to the presenters. However, at Skeldon only a small number of the workers were able to fit into the community centre building. This caused an uproar as former workers declared that they wanted to hear. After close to 30 minutes of deliberations, a decision was made to bring the podium out of the building where the workers could all hear.

At Rose Hall, Canje workers who protested were met by police ranks upon entering the gates . However, they and Region Six Chairman David Armogan explained to the police that the protesters were former workers and their relatives who wanted to listen to the presenters. While the hundreds of persons were allowed to enter the ground they were kept behind a line of lawmen.

Several workers voiced concern that while the PM said the severance would be paid on Tuesday, the Agriculture Minister stated the date as Monday.

Holder during his speech said that “Over $2 billion or more than 50% of your severance pay will be paid commencing next Monday, the remainder to be paid during the second half of the year. Indeed those whose severance is $500,000 or less will be paid in full.”

He also encouraged the workers to pursue an “agriculture option.” He said, “It is the intention of the government to get on with the business of the people,” while telling the former workers that it was necessary to take three estates out of operation.

He added, “Our efforts are focused on transitioning of ex-employees into entrepreneurs, including farmers.”

Further, the idea of leasing lands and capacity building programmes are things the government is embarking on.

At both meetings, workers told Stabroek News that they wanted to hear “good news,” that is, that everyone would be receiving their severance packages.  Others said that they were hoping the Prime Minister was coming to inform of viable job creation ideas. They lamented that Nagamootoo only announced a partial severance payment.

This did not sit well with the visibly annoyed workers as they started to shout, “We want our money now…Everybody want them money now,”

One worker, called Glen, from Canje, while almost breaking into tears, said he believes that the government officials “do not have compassion” for the jobless workers.

Zamal Hussain, PPP/C Regional Supervisor, said yesterday’s protests were held to continue to sound their “disapproval” at several of the government’s decisions.

According to Hussain, the last time Prime Minister Nagamootoo was in Canje he told a gathering that sugar was too big to fail. However, Hussain said the government has failed hundreds of sugar workers.

He said the fact that the government thought it necessary to go to Berbice to announce that severance payments would begin on Tuesday was an “insult” to the former sugar workers.

“Big meetings from people from Georgetown just to tell the people that they would have their severance on Tuesday, nothing else ….We are here to picket that they can have some amount of relief. Severance is just for a time. We are asking for subsidies for them on water and light and also transportation for their children to schools,” he stressed.

Hussain also called on the government to focus on job creation in the various regions where estates would have closed.

  I man like to suck egg, especially unda yuh battam house in the hammock and then move upstairs to give the egg white in a punnani. Mitwah ak Turbo. or yuh copy and Paste Turbo racist rant on a daily basis Here's your relpy

Berbice protesters drown Nagamootoo’s attempts to pacify workers

By Andrew Carmichael

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo on Friday tried to pacify thousands of fired sugar workers by saying Government regrets having to dismissed them from their jobs. The statement was made as the Government engaged displaced sugar workers in Berbice on Friday.
The Prime Minister led a team of Ministers, including Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, holding two meetings as the officials attempted to justify the closure of the sugar estates.
The team held two meetings; one at the Skeldon Community Centre for those

In East Canje the police formed a human cordon in front of those who were not in favor of what they were being told

attached to the Skeldon factory, which the government plans to sell, and the other meeting at Rose Hall, where the estate has been closed and most of the workers sent home.
Both meetings were met with still irate protesters.
However, Nagamootoo told the gathering at East Canje that the Government wants to do better for the industry but can only do so by closing those estates.
He said despite firing 4763 workers, the Government has saved the jobs of 11,000 workers.
“And that is why rather than allowing the industry to collapse, we have decided to

Protesters display signs in East Canje on Friday

reform and restructure the sugar industry. GuySuCo is not going to go out of sugar. It will offer employment at estates that are efficient,” Nagamootoo said amidst loud protests.
While delivering his address at Rose Hall, a lot of what the Prime Minister said was drowned out by protesters; most of whom are the workers and their family members who were sent home.
At both meetings, protesters heckled which periodically disrupted the meetings. At the Skeldon meeting, the Prime Minister had the majority of his audience listening to him although not all agreed with what they were hearing.
However, at the meeting held in East Canje, there were more protesters than those who actually attended the meeting.
Minister Holder in a prepared speech said the sugar industry is not being closed but rather consolidated.
“No Government wants to sever employees, but sometimes it is the only answer especially given the financial and technical realities which confront the industry the Government was forced to make this urgent decision on the way forward for sugar,” Holder said.
The Minister added that Government has set aside more than $2 billion which represents over 50 per cent of the worker’s severance pay. He said the payout will commence on Monday. Those whose severances’ are less than $500,000 will be paid in full, while the other will receive 50 per cent of theirs.
“It will provide access to financing for revolving micro-loans to the sum of $100 milion for entrepreneurial endeavours through the Small Business Bureau of the Ministry of Business,” he said, while making mention of the $2 billion.
Most of the utterances by the Prime Minister were not on the way forward for the industry and plans for the workers but rather an attack on the People’s Progress Party, its leader and the Region Six administration.
However, the former workers were very critical and were annoyed at many of the statements made by the politician, saying he had been there prior to taking office and promised that the estates would not be closed and that their jobs would be secured under a coalition-led Administration.
Nagamootoo claimed that the previous Administration was going to close the estates but did not make it public since it wanted persons in the sugar belt to give them their votes, but those utterances were met with widespread criticism.

 

THIS NAMAKARAM CRABDAAG GOING THERE PRETENDING HE IS DOING THE SUGAR WORKERS FAVORS BY PUTTING THEM ON UNEMPLOYMENT AND ANNOUNCING THEY WILL GET THEIR MONEY( MONIES WHICH ARE THEIRS, WHICH THEY EARNED) AS IF HE IS THE FRIGGIN REASON FOR THEM TO GET THE MONEY

HEY CRABDAAG, YOU ARE THE FRIGGIN REASON THEY HAVE TO EATSALT AND RICE IF THEY ARE THAT LUCKY!! YOU ARE THE SHAMELESS PARASITE WHO TOLD THEM TO VOTE FOR YOU AND YOU WILL GUARANTEE THE SUGAR ESTATES WILL BE OPEN AND THAT THE PPP WAS ROBBING THEM AND YOU WILL INCREASE THEIR SALARIES. HEY DAG, YOU ALSO PROMISED THE RICE FARMERS INCREASE MONIES. YOU ARE NOT JUST A STINKING LIAR, A THIEF AND A PARASITE BUT THIS PLANET WORST PIG . ASS KISSER AND BATTY WASHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mitwah posted:

Randolh haul he tail between he legs and gaan ah batam house fuh suck egg.

  I man like to suck egg, especially unda yuh battam house in the hammock and then move upstairs to give the egg white in a punnani. Mitwah ak Turbo. or yuh copy and Paste Turbo racist rant on a daily basis Here's your relpy

Yeh, Randolph!!

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