The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) is backing pensioners of Guysuco who held a picketing exerciseoutside the LBI Community Centre on Friday.
The picketing exercise is in protest to having their pensions sent to a commercial bank as against being uplifted at centres close to where they live. Some pensioners would uplift their pensions weekly, and in some cases monthly.
The pensioners are contending that they would have to incurr additional expenses to go to a commercial bank to receive thier pensions, which will place an additional burden on them.
GAWU in a statement noted that “For those pensioners who do not have bank accounts, we need not explain the travails one has to go through now-a-days to open an account. Some pensioners have shared with us they lack certain essential pre-requisites like TIN certificates, which we should not forget one has to pay for to obtain; or they may reside with their children and, therefore, would not have a proof of address. Some even have the real difficulty of having sufficient sums to satisfy the minimum balance to open a bank account. This new arrangement is being imposed in circumstances of rising crime where the aged and pensioners are also vulnerable, a factor to consider and not to be easily dismissed.”
The body further noted that iIt is indeed saddening that GuySuCo has chosen to overlook these realities that the pensioners, some in their 70’s, and 80’s face and encounter. The treatment of these former sugar workers whose energies and dedication helped to build the sugar industry and contributed to nation building is disheartening and disturbing to say the least. It is generally accepted that we treat persons at this stage of their life with respect and dignity and we need to be cognizant of the difficulties they face on several fronts. We urge GuySuCo, as an established state entity in our society, that it seeks to alleviate and not aggravate the challenges of its former workers on whose contributions we gratefully stand.”