Granger promises dismissed sugar workers severance payment next week

President David Granger has made a promise that dismissed sugar workers will receive the balance of their severance payment when Parliament resumes in the new week. The Head of State made the announcement on Friday as he addressed supporters of the A Partnership for National Unity who gathered for a meeting at Rose Hall, Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).Prior to taking the podium, the President was greeted by angry protesters who reminded the Head of State of the suffering Berbicians have been experiencing under his Administration, but more so, since the closure of two sugar estates in the region.The protesters chanted slogans highlighting the incompetence of the Government. People’s Progressive Party regional representative, Zamal Hussain, told the media that the Party supporters came out to remind the President that Berbicians are suffering.He said even if the Ministers of Government are not pulling their weight, as Head of State he has an obligation to the people of the region.”He is here for a political activity which is to campaign for the Local Government Elections (LGE) and as such we find it fit that we protest against certain issues; for instance we want to remind him that crime is on the upsurge in Region Six.”Hussain said they wanted to send a strong reminder to the President that the region depended heavily on sugar, and with the closure of two of the three sugar estates, all other sectors have been affected.“The economic situation across the entire country is coming to a halt now,” Hussain said. “As residents of Region Six, we are not allowing the President to come here with his election gimmick again and to tell people to vote for his party; the one which has destroyed this country.”However, President Granger during his address, said his Government continues to promote democracy, hence the hosting of the LGE.Granger was very critical of the way the previous Administration handled the sugar industry.“The sugar industry was operating on subsidies; they were producing sugar at a higher cost than they were selling it for… we have not closed sugar, we want to have an efficient industry; one which will make money and be profitable. So we will have one Estate in East Berbice, one in West Berbice and one East Demerara,” the Heads of State noted.It was at this point he said the workers were going to be paid.“At the beginning of the year, we said severance pay will be paid in two parts; one part in the first half of the year and the second part in the second half of the year. Next week we will go to the National Assemble to pass supplementary provisions for payment in the second half. Sugar workers are going to get their severance pay.”Addressing the issue of LGE, Granger said Rose Hall could become one of the industrial hubs of the region.“You have a powerful agricultural region and you have a powerful town which could guide the commercial activity of this region.” The President noted that at the last LGE, residents of the town did not give their full support to APNU.“That did not stop my Government from withholding anything from Rose Hall. We are a Government for all the people of Guyana.”He told residents that when they go to the polls on November 12, they should vote for the person they believe will best be able to serve the community on the council.“Regardless of which party they represent, you choose the person who will represent you the best,” he said. The meeting was also used to introduce the APNU constituency candidates for Rose Hall. read more