Disregard for sugar workers

first_imgDear Editor,The attention of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) was drawn to an advertisement titled “Do Guyanese know these facts about the sugar industry?”The whole-page advertisement, something which we understand is very costly, has sought to castigate our Union and is seemingly in response to our forthright stance in defending the workers of the sugar industry in the face of the cold, heartless plans promoted by the Administration. While GAWU holds no brief for the PPP/C, which was also mentioned in the ad, our Union believes it is important to bring clarity to some of the spurious and ill-thought-out sentiments expressed by ‘Concerned Guyanese’.1. The Skeldon factory was not a stand-alone project; it formed part of the wider Skeldon Sugar Modernisation Project (SSMP), which envisaged the construction of the factory, the establishment of a steam-and-fuel generating electricity plant, and the doubling of the estate’s cultivation. It is therefore inaccurate to say that US0M were spent to build the factory alone. Furthermore, it is public knowledge that GuySuCo was expected to invest some of its own resources towards fructifying SSMP. It seems like maybe ‘Concerned Guyanese’ has awoken from his/her slumber, or is simply being wicked and misleading.2. To identify Skeldon investment as the reason for GuySuCo’s financial difficulties is most disingenuous. The fact is that the Corporation’s revenue went down by some USM per annum as a result of the EU price cut. Moreover, the author of the ad may want to ask the current GuySuCo management officials why is it that, after receiving GB since 2015 from the State, production this year would be less than 200,000 tonnes sugar — well below GuySuCo’s capacity.3. We are told that Skeldon “will never work properly”. But this defies logic, as we have heard, through press reports, of the ready, unsolicited interest in Skeldon. It will be insane for anyone or any organization to purchase something that will never work. We must mention again that the Skeldon Co-Generation facility brought to the coffers of Skeldon Energy Inc (SEI) over B through the sale of electricity to the National Grid. Again, ‘Concerned Guyanese’ seems not to have rationally considered his/her statement.4. To speak to Cambior’s investment vis-à-vis Skeldon investment is like comparing oranges and apples. There is simply no basis for comparison.5. ‘Concerned Guyanese’ wonders where the Skeldon money went. The author, whoever he/she maybe, should insist that the sums received by Booker-Tate, which was charged with managing the project, should come under the microscope. It ought to be noted that the Booker-Tate director at the time of Skeldon’s construction is now-a-days firmly ensconced in the GuySuCo hierarchy.6. The ad argues absurdly that GAWU is seeking to protect its union dues income, thus its stance on sugar. If that were indeed the case, why is it that the Union is calling on GuySuCo to pay the 350-odd workers of Wales their rightful severance entitlements? Many, if not all, of those workers will not return to the Corporation for employment, and therefore they cannot pay dues. ‘Concerned Guyanese’ is not seemingly connecting the dots, but maybe is shooting from the hip.7. The author tells us that M are lost whenever there is a day’s strike. By the logic of ‘Concerned Guyanese’, if the industry operates for 35 crop weeks per annum, its revenue would be .165B. For the author’s information, GuySuCo’s revenue in 2015, the last year available, was .4B. Again, ‘Concerned Guyanese’ clearly does not seem to know much, or is misinformed.8. The ad goes on to speak about workers’ strikes, but ‘Concerned Guyanese’ obviously fails to see the clear contradiction in the statement. He/she says on one hand that workers earn nothing when they strike, but on the other says that union dues will be deducted. If a worker doesn’t earn, then it follows he/she cannot have any deductions made.We see the ad as a new low being reached and the latest in the series of futile attempts to disparage our Union for standing up and defending the thousands of sugar workers and also the thousands linked to the industry’s operations. We noticed many of the sentiments contained in the ad are also parroted by Administration officials during recent appearances on the television in Berbice. The similarities are indeed interesting, and it seems there is more to the matter than what meets the eye.The GAWU also sees the ad as a poor response in the PR attempts of those who are effectively countered by the militancy of the workers and the consistent exposure of the misinformation that comes from the officials and their apologists. It is disheartening that the ad appears on the eve of the Enmore Martyrs’ death anniversary. It speaks obviously to the level of respect those who are responsible for the ad have for the hard-working, honest sugar workers, and indeed the working people who depend on the industry in one way or another.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Linden robbery, larceny accused on $150,000 bail

first_imgForty-year-old John Broomes, of Wismar Housing Scheme, Linden, was granted bail amounting to the sum of 0,000 when he appeared before Magistrate Clive Nurse at the Linden Magistrate’s Court to answer to robbery and break-and-enter-and larceny charges on Tuesday.The defendant pleaded not guilty to the first charge which stated that on October 18, 2015, while being armed with a gun, he robbed Nevlyn Benjamin of a Samsung cellular phone valued ,000 and a gold ring valued ,000. The incident allegedly took place at Plantation Fair’s Rust, Mackenzie, Linden.Broomes also pleaded not guilty to the second charge which stated that between October 1 and 2, 2015, he broke and entered the home of Devon Green situated at Phase 1B Wisroc, Wismar, Linden and stole a gas bottle valued ,000.In representing himself, the defendant maintained his innocence, explaining to the Court that he was a farmer who sold his produce for a living. He was granted ,000 bail for each of the offences despite the prosecution’s objection.Additionally, another break-and-enter-and-larceny charge against the defendant was dismissed by Magistrate Nurse. It was alleged that he broke into the home of Shonda McGregor at Phase 1B Wisroc and stole a gas stove valued ,000, a gas bottle valued ,000, a microwave valued ,000, a blender valued 00, a tea cup set valued ,000, tea cups valued 00, a tape player valued ,000, an electrical breaker panel valued ,000, electronic wire valued ,000, a stand fan valued 00 and groceries worth 00.Broomes is scheduled to make his next court appearance on June 1 for new matters.last_img read more

Efficiency of the supply chain is key for Guyana?

first_imgThe World Bank has developed a tool called the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) to partially measure the competitiveness of a nation. The LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their trade logistics systems and what they can do to improve their performance. The LPI 2018 allows for comparisons across 160 countries.Guyana’s rank was 132 with an LPI score of 2.36 in 2018 compared to an LPI score of 2.67 in 2016. This basically means that Guyana has regressed with regards to the efficiency of its supply chain systems. Can we understand why an oil investor ignores Guyana and buys basics, as simple as drinking water, from non-Guyanese sources? In simple language, our systems make it a major challenge for Guyana to do business with the rest of the world.This is how Guyana fared between 2016 and 2018 and it gives you a fair assessment of the wider economic and systemic decay happening.Let us reflect on the successes first. The quality of the Customs Services improved between 2016 and 2018 and that is an indictment to the leadership in that team. There were too many instances of human interference in the customs system before 2016 and credit must be given to the new leadership appointed by Team Granger who made massive changes to the system that resulted in greater efficiencies with a resultant improvement in customs revenue for the nation.But the failures in other areas are overwhelming, so much so that Guyana lost 47 places in the ranking and is now considered less competitive in the conduct of international trade. The nation lost competitiveness in transportation infrastructure, quality of the port facilities, logistics competence, tacking and accounting for products shipped and timeliness of deliveries.Logistics are the backbone of international trade and clearly, Guyana is on another planet when it comes to doing business internationally. What have GO-Invest, the Foreign Affairs and the Business Ministries done for the good of Guyana because the evidence is clearly not there to support a progressive action? Unless we take drastic measures to connect Guyana to the global value chains, we will continue to be an outsider globally. Talk to any logistics professional on the ground and they shall confirm this.To give you an idea of how bad Guyana is rated internationally, a score of five translates to a perfect system of logistics while one is the worst possible rating you can get. In 2016 Guyana was rated at 2.67. By 2018 Guyana was rated at 2.36, illustrating a decline in the nation’s logistical competitiveness over two years.What can be done?1. Better integration between production and trade facilitation – To back this up, the respective departments in the Government need to focus on production and productivity in the right packages to penetrate targeted overseas markets with the right launch at the right moment. One question to ask is why more of Guyana’s poultry products are not being sold in the Caribbean Community (Caricom) market and it will expose how badly integrated the whole trade facilitation system is in Guyana.2. More efficient transportation system – Port Georgetown must be dredge come what may. Too small ships are coming to Guyana costing the nation too much per unit. We are engaged in a process of building a new bridge across the Demerara River when there is already a bridge across the river but there is no initiative to more vitally needed projects such as to deepen the channel in the Demerara River or build a floating deep-water harbour to accommodate larger ships to reduce our unit shipping cost.With oil coming to Guyana, it is clear that we are not ready to service the industry as yet and this is why Trinidad is taking the cream of the oil services jobs today. The fact remains the oil investment was made in Guyana and Trinidad is reaping the benefit due to the home country. Of course, Trinidad had a great advantage and a more mature oil services industry but even the water on the rig cannot be Guyanese? I am told bread is coming from Miami for the rig workers.But let us face the facts – who has the better supply chain – Guyana or Trinidad and this is one of the reasons that will continue to drive Trinidad’s advantages. Well, I cannot expect much from the Government at this point in time since they are busy with Local Government Elections but I am hoping someone in the Foreign Affairs and Business Ministries is asking the question – why Guyanese water is not available on the rig and take some firm action on this matter of delinquency on our part in compliance with the principle of local content support services.last_img read more


first_imgThe Evolve Winter Sale started this morning and it’s loaded with bargain basement offers!The list includes two pairs of jeans for €45, footwear from €10, G-Star 1/2 Price, Adidas 1/2 Price, suits from €89 and Tommy Hilfiger at 1/2 Price. If it’s a bargain you’re looking for then Evolve will have you suited and booted for next to nothing for the New Year. HUNDREDS OF BARGAINS AT THE EVOLVE WINTER SALE TODAY was last modified: December 26th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EvolveWinter Salelast_img read more

Nuñez lashes out in Assembly immigration fight

first_imgSACRAMENTO – The rancorous national debate over illegal immigration spilled into the California Assembly on Tuesday as Democrats yanked an immigration resolution after a testy, partisan exchange that drew an outburst from Speaker Fabian Nuñez. The Los Angeles Democrat emerged from his office to silence Republican critics who were lambasting the nonbinding resolution. “We’re pulling the bill. You’ve got a problem with that?” he asked before uttering an expletive about Republican nitpicking and leaving the chamber, slamming the door that joins the Assembly to his conference room. Democrats wanted a vote on a nonbinding resolution urging Congress to pass immigration reform. It called upon President George W. Bush and Congress to reject “mean-spirited” and extreme immigration laws, referring to a House bill that called, in part, for making it a felony to be in the country illegally. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.The move by Democrats to withdraw the bill came after lawmakers bickered over whether the measure also promoted decriminalizing illegal immigration. Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, described the resolution as the most divisive document to come before the Assembly this year. He demanded that Nuñez come to the floor to defend it. “If we’re telling Congress, `Do not make illegal immigration criminal,’ why don’t we tell all the thieves in California who steal, `You’re not a thief?”‘ Spitzer said. Afterward, he told a reporter he was not offended by the speaker’s retaliatory remarks. But Morgan Crinklaw, a spokesman for the Assembly Republican Caucus, said Nuñez’s language “was completely unprofessional given the seriousness of the issue of illegal immigration.” Nuñez did not respond to requests for further comment. His spokesman, Steve Maviglio, said the speaker is “passionate about immigration.” He also said many members in the Democrat-controlled Legislature had expected the resolution to pass before Republicans raised objections. Democrats had hoped to send a resolution to Congress in an effort to add California’s voice to the national debate over illegal immigration. Assembly Democrats argued that Congress should give an estimated 12 million immigrants in the country illegally a path to citizenship, while Republicans said the resolution endorsed illegal immigration.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Rookie LAPD officer kills knife-wielding suspect

first_imgA rookie Los Angeles police officer shot and killed a man Monday who had attacked his former roommates with a 6-inch butcher knife, authorities said. The 27-year-old man died at a hospital after the shooting, police said. His identity was not immediately released. An officer was called to a San Pedro apartment complex at about 12:45 a.m. by reports that a man with a knife was knocking on doors and trying to get into apartments, police Lt. Paul Vernon said. Officers went to the scene, where a man with a bleeding face said a former roommate had chased him and his current roommate. As police were in a second-floor corridor, the other roommate came down the stairs, chased by the knife-wielding man, police said. The man refused orders to stop, and an officer who had been with the department less than a year opened fire, Vernon said. The man died at a hospital. The two roommates had only minor cuts, police said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d see160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Christie: There’s been an overreaction to Rangers victory

first_imgRyan Christie has said the reaction to Rangers win over Celtic last weekend has been over the top and that his side can be happier with their season than their rivals.Rangers were 2-0 winners at Ibrox on Sunday, dominating the game against the champions.Christie, who is recovering well from a facial injury and watched the match at home, said that they were good value for their win and that some Celtic players were smarting at the nature of the defeat.He said: “To be fair to Rangers, they came out and came after us and I think the early goal changed the shape of the game a lot. After that we were always kind of chasing it and didn’t really recover. “You could sense after the weekend that a few of the boys were obviously frustrated by the game and we wanted to go out and prove a point. “Rangers were the better team on the day and deserved to win.”But the Celtic star felt the reaction to the result had gone a bit too far and was quick to remind people his team had already clinched the league title and were pushing for a third domestic treble.“I don’t think it indicates too much,” he said. “I think it’s very easy for people to jump on that. “It’s the same after every Old Firm. It’s maybe not blown out of proportion but it feels like that a little bit. “I think going into the game if the league was still for grabs then the game could have gone differently. I don’t think there’s too much to read into it.“You saw it with a couple of comments and going through the press and from their side that ‘Glasgow is blue’ and that kind of stuff.“When you look at it now, we’re going in to the last couple of weeks and we’ve got a trophy day and a cup final to look forward to. They certainly don’t have that.“I think at the weekend Glasgow will be green and white, that’s for sure.”last_img read more

Meet Your Favorite Marvel Super Heroes at Disney California Adventure

first_imgShare This!With the (Hulk) smash hit that Avengers: Endgame has been, it’s natural to want to meet some of your favorite Marvel heroes when visiting the Disneyland Resort, right? Well, right now, Guests will be able to meet a few favorites for some very heroic encounters at Disney California Adventure.Captain America: Meeting at intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard.Thor and Loki: Meet together frequentlyBlack Panther: Encounter both Black Panther and his guard, the Dora Milaje.Black Widow: Meets in Hollywood Land.HawkeyeCaptain Marvel: pose with Captain Marvel and her F-15 Eagle fighter jet at Hangar 12.Spider-Man: Meet him at the Brownstone Building on Sunset Boulevard.Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot: Groove with these three at the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! in front of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!To find out the details of exactly when these characters will be meeting with Guests, make sure you download the Disneyland mobile app.last_img read more

Science education gets a boost

first_imgIBM South Africa corporate citizenship manager Sydney Hadebe and Sci-Bono CEO David Kramer. Sci-Bono helps to stimulate children’s natural curiosity and focus it on science. A hands-on approach makes learning more interesting for youngsters.(Images: Anish Abraham) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sci-Bono Discovery Centre  +27 11 639 8400 RELATED ARTICLES • Sci-Bono CEO gets French knighthood • Denel helps maths, science pupils • Fostering SA’s young scientists • Pushing the science envelope • Global award for young SA innovatorAnish Abraham The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, South Africa’s largest science centre, is aiming to boost education in mathematics, science and technology by invoking the inherent curiosity of children, and teaching them new ideas and concepts while they play and interact with the many exhibits that it hosts. Established by the Gauteng Department of Education and the private sector in 2004, the centre seeks to address the scarce skills needs of South Africa by contributing to the effective delivery of quality maths, science and technology education in all schools in the province. According to Sci-Bono CEO David Kramer, science centres are a rather recent phenomenon, with the first one taking shape in San Francisco in 1984. Known as the Exploratorium, it is one of the four biggest centres of its kind in the world, and was set up by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer as a way through which ordinary citizens could keep in touch with the latest advances in technology. Oppenheimer was no stranger to advances in technology – his brother Robert was one of the developers of the world’s first nuclear weapon. Since those early days, Kramer said, there were now over 30 000 science centres and museums across the world, and that there is hardly a major city that does not have one. He pointed out that the difference between science museums and science centres was that centres were not about exhibitions that people merely looked at, but were filled with interactive exhibits, made so that visitors could engage with them and learn new things. “There are 35 science centres in South Africa, but Sci-Bono is the flagship,” he said. They range in sizes from huge warehouses to a small room.Programmes and activities Kramer said that Sci-Bono had a programme of activities and projects taking place throughout the year, and its outreach programme targets schoolchildren who are unable to travel from outlying areas into Johannesburg. Programmes include a Rocket Science Club where pupils learn to design, build and launch rockets that are capable of flying several hundred metres into the air; and a robotics programme, whose participants have even competed at international level. While working on these projects, Kramer said, the children were guided and mentored by “professionals and not teachers”.Similarly, the guides who take the children around the various exhibits are young BSc graduates with a passion for science and technology – ensuring that children learn while having fun.Helping kids to learn Sci-Bono is unique, given the relationship the centre has with the Gauteng Department of Education, in that it also had a big role to play in curriculum delivery and teacher training in the fields of maths and science. The centre also runs a supplementary tuition programme in 137 sites across the province, where schoolchildren can go to learn, with highly skilled teachers from some of the province’s leading schools being brought in on the day to teach. “Over 80% of the schools that come here are from a previously disadvantaged environment, we provide them with free admission and transport,” Kramer said, adding that while wealthier schools were asked to pay for admission fees, no cash-strapped schools would be turned away. This was possible because of funding from the provincial education department, and means that Sci-Bono is not reliant on admission fees for survival.Comprehensive career guidance Another unique point is that Sci-Bono has an attached career centre. “It is a full service career centre that provides guidance and counselling,” Kramer said, adding that it was one of the few places where students from disadvantaged backgrounds could undergo free psychometric and aptitude testing. In this way, the centre not only directed the curiosity of children into the world of maths and science, but also helped improve the flow of potential candidates studying these subjects at a tertiary level. Kramer said they expected to have 206 000 visitors to the centre over the course of the year, while also reaching out to an additional 150 000 pupils through their various outreach programmes. “We are not just a conventional science centre, but we are also the control room for maths and science in Gauteng,” he said.last_img read more