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Sugar workers feel betrayed despite meeting with ministers in Enmore

Scores of sugar workers have expressed a feeling of betrayal and disappointment despite assurances from top government officials during a high-level ministerial meeting in Enmore, East Coast Demerara (ECD) today.

The ministerial delegation was greeted with a massive protest action where sacked sugar workers and their families waved placards and chanted slogans in a bid to get the APNU+AFC administration to hear their cries and address their concerns.

The former sugar workers lined the streets demanding that their full severance be paid in keeping with the law.

They explained that their earning capacity and spending powers have been reduced since the closure of the estates and that receiving only part of their severance will not sustain their livelihood until they get another job.

The dissatisfied workers also objected to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan addressing them as they believe the two men are traitors to those in the sugar belt.

The sugar workers lamented that their entire world has been turned upside down and that there is no hope for them to regain meaningful employment.

Their pleas of desperation fell on deaf ears as government remained resolute in giving some workers only half of their severance even though they were entitled to full severance since December last.

Business Minister Dominic Gaskin announced at the meeting that workers will start getting their severance from Monday.

Workers entitled to severance pay totalling $500,000 and less will receive their full package while the others will only get half.

It is still unclear when the remaining balance will be paid out.

Agriculture Minister Noel Holder in a recent sitting of the National Assembly only assured that it will be paid before the end of 2018.

Over 4,000 sugar workers were thrown on the breadline following a decision by the government to shutdown several sugar estates across the country.

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