Monday, March 19, 2012

AFC spent five years in Parliament and did nothing for sugar workers now being encouraged to protest.

FITUG came out swinging against the AFC’s cynical and transparent moves to exploit the problems in the sugar industry. It’s high time that they did. And all who care about creating a stable Guyana should join in their condemnation. As FITUG pointed out, our politics gestated in the sugar industry. This was because the contradiction between capital/imperialism and labour were most stark during the colonial period.

But Cheddi Jagan kept his promise to sugar workers – even if Burnham turned his back on them – and in 1997 a Trade Union Recognition Act was passed. It offers a procedure for representing workers in industrial disputes – if you believe the union is not doing its job. Organise a new union if you think GAWU is not up to scratch! But the power hungry renegades in the AFC want to have their cake and eat it too. Nagamootoo wants to suck up to Komal Chand, even while the AFC undermines GAWU’s representation.
The AFC spent five years in Parliament and did absolutely nothing for sugar workers. It sat on the Economic Services Committee, but did it ever request an investigation of the conditions it is now protesting. Not on your life! It twiddled its thumbs and is now shedding crocodile tears for sugar workers. The AFC is a political party and political parties are given their forum in the political system to represent their constituency or even the country at large.
But to form a trade union would demand work. Work in the fields and in the backdams. Ramjattan and Nagamootoo would have to take off their suits and ties. They would have to be on the ‘order lines’ before the sun rises. But they’ll never do this. It’s easier to be rabblerousers and take advantage of the plight of the sugar workers.
The sad truth is that it is not only the sugar workers who have their backs against the wall – it’s the entire industry. But all the AFC did was present airy-fairy proposals about co-gen and ethanol cogged from textbooks. And of course, stir up workers to exacerbate the troubles in the industry: ensuring there will be no jobs for them when sugar goes down the tubes. Real Carrion Crows!


  1. This has been the AFC tactics since they came on to political scene and all they have done is try to take political gain on every opportunity they get.

  2. The AFC has done into for the sugar workers since they came onto the political scene and they are encouraging the workers to keep up the strike.