GuySuCo lawyers a no-show

first_imgWales Estate closure court case– proceedings rescheduled Even though the court case regarding the severance or redeployment of workers attached to the Wales Sugar Estate was heard in chambers of the High Court on Tuesday morning, the court was forced to reschedule theSugar operations will end at the Wales Estate in Decemberproceedings since attorneys for Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) were a no show.The matter which was called before Justice Roxanne George at 09:00h, would have heard the arguments from plaintiffs, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) as well as defending statements from the Sugar Corporation.However, as GuySuCo’s lawyers were a no-show to the proceedings, Justice George ruled that the matter will now be heard on June 7.Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled after an interim injunction was granted on May 6 in favour of the unions, which barred the Guyana Sugar Corporation and/or their servants/ agents, from proceeding to implement the decision to sever the employment of workers from the Wales Estate, unless consultations with the workers were held.Using the injunction, GuySuCo said that it was unable to pay the 106 Wales sugar workers their severance packages even though these workers on March 22 received letters from the entity, which stated that they would have been paid on May 4.President of GAWU Komal Chand when contacted on Tuesday told Guyana Times that the Union hopes GuySuCo will honour their agreements and pay the workers.It was pointed out that the agreement between the workers and the Sugar Corporation was reached before the May 6 injunction was granted. Chand expressed that in the meantime, GuySuCo should give the 106 workers employment as they have been jobless for over a month.“While the workers have not yet received their severance payments, they ought to provide them with work or pay them in lieu of work,” he noted.The GAWU President further noted that he was surprised that the Sugar Corporation had started to transfer and sever workers since it was promised that sugar operations would close by year end.“In the first place we are taken aback that they are paying workers their severance at that time because the Minister said the factory and cane cultivation will cease in December, so in the first place these workers ought not to have been severed,” Chand pointed out.The court action was first brought on after GuySuCo began discussions with individual employees of the Wales estate to negotiate severance packages, without informing or involving the unions. Unions – GAWU and NAACIE – are also seeking damages in excess of $1 million for breach of statutory duty owing under the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, Chapter 99:08, Laws of Guyana.The judges had granted an interim injunction, restraining GuySuCo from proceeding to implement their decision to sever the employees until the hearing and determination of a summons returnable in Chambers.One legal expert told this newspaper that if it is agreed that severance is the best option, then negotiations on the severance package, inclusive of its calculations will commence and this must be done between GuySuCo and the two Unions.last_img read more