By Shemuel FanfairOf the 4763 sugar workers who were made redundant by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) as part of that State entity’s restructuring programme, more than 350 who formerly were attached to the Wales Estate did not receive severance payment on Friday, as others across the industry did.This was revealed by former Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy after a careful investigation into the severance payout to Wales Sugar Estate workers.The National Assembly had, in early November, given approval for almost $2.5 billion to be released to cater for the remaining severance due to 4,723 sugar workers.Government had, earlier this year, opted to pay some workers half of their severance, with the remaining half to be paid in the latter part of the year.The Department of Public Information (DPI) announced last week that Government had kept its promise to pay out the remaining fifty percent of severance to those receiving amounts in excess of $500,000 by the end of 2018.In fact, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had given all assurances that the Wales workers, who previously were prevented from receiving severance pay by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU)-filed court action, would receive their outstanding benefits. He also said, via DPI, that Government would respect the ruling of the court and pay interest of between four and six per cent on the outstanding amounts.“Of course we recognise that there is an order from the court which says we pay interest on the amount due, and so we will be paying the interest, which comes up to about $85 million. We are not there to deny the sugar workers…we had to be able to ensure that we have the money, and not dig a deeper hole,” he stated late last month.Contrary to these assurances, Guyana Times has recently been informed that several Wales cane harvesters involved in that very court case were not paid their severance, which has been paid to their other ex-colleagues.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo“We ain’t get no severance; we really punishing. Right now I only getting two-day work,” a former sugar worker disclosed. A father of three, this worker is one of over 300 workers involved in the court case against their former employer, in which it is contended that GuySuCo was acting unlawfully by compelling employees to travel 22 miles from their point of origin to work at Uitvlugt on the West Coast of Demerara. Accordingly, the workers refused to take up employment at Uitvlugt before the Wales Estate ceased operating in December 2016. As such, they were left both without jobs and severance, as GuySuCo’s timeframe in which they were told to make a decision had passed.President of GAWU, Komal Chand, has confirmed what other sources have relayed to Guyana Times, having noted that, indeed, those former Wales Estate workers have not been paid.“They did not pay them despite [the Prime Minister] saying they would receive their pay. I know that they paid some of them, but those were the ones who had to get the other portion of their severance,” the official disclosed on Sunday.A separate source familiar with the payout revealed that the payments for the unpaid set of Wales cane harvesters have already been calculated, though it is unclear why the ex-workers remain without their legally entitled benefits as outlined in the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act (TESPA).In a DPI report on Friday, the entity said it visited Wales and Enmore Estates, where former workers turned out early. At the Enmore Community Development Ground, several welcomed the receipt of severance payments.Clifton Nedd, a retrenched worker, “expressed his satisfaction” with the payment, noting that it came just in time for the holidays. “Well, I feel very good, because I was waiting a very long time, and now everything happened,” he said.“I am happy about it, because when they paid the first half a lot of people comment about it, but I say that every disappointment does be for a good,” said Marlene Licorish, who has started selling homemade chips to make a living.Retrenched Enmore Estate worker Sheldon Younge told the Department of Public Information that, following the closure of the estate, he has been operating his own business.Other workers were quoted as saying that, since the closure of the estates, they have been adjusting, with some of them seeking employment with private companies.Numerous former workers were gathered outside the Wales Estate’s administrative building, including Joseph Persaud, who “welcomed” the final payment and said he was currently doing cash crop farming. Ramphal, who had been employed with GuySuCo for 23 years, said he would still like to get into farming, despite already finding work in general construction.Some of the former workers disclosed that they would be investing their payouts. Rohan Sugrim from Wales Estate, who had been with GuySuco for twelve years, said he would use some for the Christmas holidays, and “invest some” in the New Year.DPI’s report claimed many also benefited from alternative livelihood programmes designed to equip them with skills to seek employment in different areas, such as sewing, cosmetology, caring for the elderly, catering, mechanical and electrical works, and small business management.However, Guyana Times has been reporting that many of these very workers are finding great difficulty in obtaining consistent and well-paying employment.
Top Stories QB Carson Palmer hands the ball to RB Andre Ellington at Arizona Cardinals training camp, Wednesday, August 26 at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Photo:Adam Green/Arizona Sports) GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals are on the cusp of finishing up their training camp tenure at University of Phoenix Stadium. That we are in the waning days of camp shows, with dwindling crowd numbers and even less in the way of super-intense practices. Yet, trudge on the team does, and Wednesday the players were in pads.The GoodReceiver Larry Fitzgerald continued his good camp with some real nice catches. Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “I’m waiting to see what will happen next, and I’m really excited. I consider this a complete win. The biggest question coming in was would guys in the NFL respond to a woman coaching them, and obviously that’s a ‘yes.’ So I couldn’t be more happy and that’s what I’m focusing on right now.” – Coach Jen Welter on if she thinks beyond next week, when her internship comes to an endNo HighlightsSorry, the Cards didn’t post any and that’s where they come from.Up NextThe Cardinals have a walkthrough scheduled for Thursday morning and then another practice at 2 p.m. – / 30 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Patrick Peterson made a couple of good plays, coming up with an interception in 11-on-11 early in practice and then nearly nabbing another in breaking up a pass intended for Travis Harvey.Defensive lineman Frostee Rucker just obliterated receiver Jaxon Shipley while the latter was coming around on a reverse.Calais Campbell appeared to come up with the ball after chasing Phillip Sims down the line. Was it intercepted? Fumbled? Just handed to him? I couldn’t tell, but Campbell made a nice play either way.Cornerback Cariel Brooks picked off a pass.Phillip Sims showed excellent accuracy and touch on a down-field throw to Trevor Harman during 7-on-7.Tyrann Mathieu did a nice job preventing a completion to receiver Ryan Spadola in 11-on-11.The BadIf you like big plays on offense then the fact there really weren’t any Wednesday would probably bother you.There were a couple instances with Drew Stanton, Logan Thomas and Phillip Sims where it appeared the protection broke down. That, or the coverage down field was superb.The Injury ReportHere’s who missed Wednesday’s practice:WR Michael FloydLG Mike IupatiOL Earl WatfordRB Chris JohnsonLB Sean Weatherspoon CB Jerraud PowersTE Troy NiklasCardinals coach Bruce Arians said Watford should be back Thursday, and was hopeful Johnson and Weatherspoon would be ready by the end of the week. He added Niklas re-injured his hamstring, and there is no timetable yet for his return.NotableShaq Riddick got his first taste of extended time on the field, seeing action in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11.Michael Floyd was seen without much of anything on his ailing left hand, so it appears he’s improving. Arians said he wouldn’t put it past the WR to be ready for Week 1.Justin Bethel may not be taking Jerraud Powers’ job at cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson, but Arians said he has impressed them to the point where they will put in a couple of packages in order to get No. 28 on the field more.Quotable“I don’t like to use the word ‘old,’ though. You can use it when you talk about coaches. I’m in my mid-to-early 30s, and in quarterback years that’s middle of the road in my book.” – Carson Palmer“No, he works out like a wild man. He’s got his own gym and all that stuff. He’s a fitness nut and he makes his own beer, that’s a pretty damn good combination.” – Bruce Arians on if he’s noticed any changes in Jared Veldheer’s physicality or body type this year