Nagamootoo has totally betrayed sugar workers

first_imgDear Editor,Moses Nagamootoo this past week demanded that sugar workers should be grateful that the APNU/AFC has “raided” the treasury on their behalf. I wonder what he thinks about the annual electricity subvention of billion to Linden. Is this also “raiding” the treasury? Should Lindeners bow in gratitude to APNU/AFC? In 2012, Nagamootoo and his APNU/AFC colleagues, in inciting the people of Linden, proclaimed the electricity subvention as an obligation of the government and something the country owes to Linden. A subvention to GuySuCo is raiding of the treasury; the subvention to Linden is an obligation.Nagamootoo does not go to the sugar belt communities to address sugar workers anymore because he knows that they know he has totally betrayed them. He presented himself as the champion of sugar workers, promising them before the 2015 election that sugar in Guyana will always be number 1 and he will ensure sugar workers get an annual pay increase of 20 per cent, doubling their wages in a single APNU/AFC term. Today he is busy working with the APNU/AFC to end sugar in Guyana.Even as APNU/AFC/GuySuCo denied sugar workers any increase in 2015 and 2016, Nagamootoo is quiet as a mouse, not a sound from him. Zero pay increase for two successive years and Nagamootoo has amnesia, forgetting that he and his colleagues promised 20 per cent annual increases to sugar workers. Indeed, before the 2015 elections, I heard him assure sugar workers, with his usual pomposity and bombast, that the APNU/AFC’s 20 per cent proposal for sugar workers was not a promise, but a contract. Today, the “contract” with sugar workers has been disavowed. He has now completely acquiesced to the mistreatment of the sugar workers by the APNU/AFC. His silence is adding salt to grievous open wounds.APNU/AFC for two successive years has imposed a zero wage increase for sugar workers, joining the PNC, which after nationalisation in 1976 imposed a zero wage increase for workers in 1979, 1982 and 1983. The PPP between 1992 and 2014, always granted a wage increase, even when times were not good and even if sugar workers thought they deserved more. In its first two years in charge, APNU/AFC has joined its founding party, the PNC, as the only entity to hold sugar workers at ransom and imposed a wage freeze on them.The workers gambled and Nagamootoo and APNU/AFC now reward them with silence, arrogance and abandonment and call them ungrateful.APNU/AFC, as Nagamootoo contends, has raided the public treasury in an unprecedented manner, greedily and recklessly, but definitely not on behalf of sugar workers. They have raided the public treasury, on themselves. While denying sugar workers a wage increase, they raided the public treasury to give themselves (the Cabinet) a hefty pay increase of about 50 to 75 per cent over 2015 and 2016.Not only is he silent on the zero wage increase, Nagamootoo is silent on the shutting down of Wales and LBI by the end of 2016. He has not said a world about the plans to close Skeldon, Rose Hall and Enmore before 2018. When he dares open his mouth in the plush comfort of his office in Georgetown, he justifies APNU/AFC’s plan to close sugar and calls sugar workers ungrateful. He has totally betrayed the sugar workers. In the meantime, Khemraj Ramjattan has been similarly silent. Their silence is the ultimate betrayal of sugar workers. Sugar workers will not forget.Sincerely,Dr Leslie RamsammyFormer AgricultureMinisterlast_img read more