first_imgThe court case regarding the non-consultations of unions over the severance and redeployment of workers attached to Wales Sugar Estate is slated to be heard in Chambers of the High Court today.At the previous hearing on May 25 the matter was rescheduled after attorneys for Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) were a no-show at the proceedings.The matter, being heard by Justice Roxanne George, is scheduled to hear 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 GuySuCo.These hearings follow an interim injunction that was granted on May 6 in favour of the unions, which had 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 as its justification, GuySuCo said it was unable to pay the 105 Wales sugar workers their severance packages evenThe curtains will come down at Wales by yearendthough these workers on March 22 received letters that stated they would have been paid on May 4.GAWU has however rejected the sugar corporation’s stance, noting that the agreement between the workers and GuySuCo was reached before the May 6 injunction was granted.GAWU President Komal Chand had expressed that while the matter is being sorted out at court, GuySuCo should give the 105 workers employment as they have been jobless over a month.Guyana Times has learnt that the sugar corporation has given six of these workers employment, suggesting that 99 workers remain jobless.Meanwhile, a vigil to show solidarity against the closure of Wales Estate is planned for next week.The court action was brought after GuySuCo began discussions with individual employees of Wales estate to negotiate severance packages, without informing or involving the unions.At one point, workers were given a 3-day ultimatum to make their decisions but GuySuCo backtracked after the media was made aware of the corporation’s side plan.Unions GAWU and NAACIE are seeking damages in excess of $1 million for breach of statutory duty owing under the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, Cap. 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

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