Blairmont Estate factory workers down tools over unfair treatment
Workers attached to the Blairmont Sugar Estate took to the streets on Wednesday after a colleague was abruptly promoted while those who were in the system for a longer period are being bypassed.
As such, the workers are also calling for the Estate Manager to rescind the promotion, since scores of punts filled with cane to be grinded are now rotting.
Hansram Ramoutar, a General and Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) official stated that the promotion was not done in a fair manner.
“The man is so incompetent that he cannot even make a one-inch bend. He had to buy one from a shop and ring it back and Management is so highhandedly praising this guy. And they say that we at Blairmont are not competent. It is the same people that are not competent that have to show this guy what to do
,” the factory representative said.
The workers are dissatisfied, saying that the former Rose Hall Estate worker, who had received his severance and is now reemployed with the Blairmount factory, is not capable of functioning at the position he has now been placed.
Ramoutar related that the Estate’s management is holding stern on the decision to promote the worker and as such, there will be no negotiation.
He added that management is holding out that they can employ someone and place them in whatever position they see fit.
Ramoutar also pointed out that many are seeking upward mobility at work but none of them can move forward. One reason, he gave, is that the factory manager has passed retirement age but still remains on the job.
Noting that the focus is to sustain the sugar industry, Ramoutar said what is being done is not in keeping with the policy of the company.
Seventy-two workers representing the entire factory workforce took strike action on Tuesday. On Monday, they held a protest hoping to get management to address their concerns.
On Wednesday, the workers intensified their strike by also staging a protest.
Cane, which was burnt on Saturday and cut on Sunday, is still to get to the factory. It has been losing its sugar content each day and soon might not be worth the while to grind.