Co-operatives – a possible solution for sugar workers – Keith Scott

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The Government’s move to revitalize Co-operatives can be seen as an opportunity for sugar workers that are inclined to pooling their resources and going into business, according to Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott.

The Minister made those remarks during a courtesy call at his office by a delegation from the IUF (The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations). Heading the delegation was General Secretary of the IUF, Ms. Sue Longley.

During the brief meeting the delegation raised concerns about the well-being of Sugar Workers who would have recently been made redundant as a result of the Government’s move to consolidate production in an effort to save the industry that has taken billions of dollars in subsidy to keep its doors open; notably, thirty-two billion dollars in the past thirty months.

Minister Scott said it is within this context, Government’s commitment to sugar workers can be seen. He said “sugar belongs to all Guyanese and is deeply rooted in our history; as a result, several steps have been taken to reduce the economic impact to workers that have recently been severed.”

These measures include training persons in other skilled areas, reabsorbing sugar workers in other fields and a fund to provide small loans for entrepreneurial ventures.

The Minister said Government has been pushing to maintain co-operatives as the third pillar of national economic development and there is an on-going process to develop new co-operative ventures. This can be seen as an opportunity for sugar workers to get into entrepreneurial ventures.

While stressing the importance of the village economy the Minister said “I am prepared to go to any place, to develop Guyana; community by community”.

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