Overseas-based Guyanese donates over $1M to dismissed sugar workers

first_imgAn overseas-based Guyanese has donated in excess of $1 million in cash and other items to dismissed sugar workers in East Canje and Skeldon, Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).A representative of the donor on Wednesday distributing cash gifts to dismissed sugar workersEach of the worker received $5000 along with lunch on Wednesday. Some of the former estate workers were also given school bags for their children. The donor, who asked for his name not to be published, left Guyana in 1982 at age 19.He told Guyana Times that in New York where he currently lives, many Guyanese are disappointed with the move by Government to close two of the three sugar estates in Berbice.In December last year, Government closed the Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates in Region Six, leaving thousands of workers on the breadline.Last year, 1851 workers were dismissed from the Skeldon Sugar Estate, 1181 from the Rose Hall Estate, 1480 from the East Demerara Sugar Estate and 251 from the Wales Sugar Estate.The donor said the Diaspora wanted to send a strong reminder to President David Granger that Region Six depended heavily on sugar and with the closure of two of the three sugar estates in the region; all other sectors have been affected.After several months of protest action by the dismissed workers backed by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Government gave the former workers half of their severance package and promised the balance before the end of the year.The full package was due to the workers upon their dismissal.Since then, commercial activity in East Canje and the Upper Corentyne has slowed significantly.According to the donor, the Guyanese Diaspora has over the past months been very supportive to the affected workers and their families. Regional Chairman David Armogan, who attended the donation ceremony, told Guyana Times that some of the workers have close family members living in the Diaspora and as such the impact of the closure is also being felt overseas, since they have to financially assist their relatives in Guyana.“It has put more stain on them because they have to be handing money and other things to send to their family members back home and some of those family members also worked with the estate before they left Guyana, so they understand what has happened and how serious it is. That is why whenever a Government Minister goes to New York, he or she is greeted with scores of protesters because those Guyanese recognise what the Government is doing to their country,” Armogan said. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more

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