Today is “Labour Day” – a special public holiday set aside for the workers of Guyana to reflect on their condition and to bring their concerns to the rest of the populace. The day may seem anomalous to some, since, in theory, one or more persons in every family have to be working to support themselves and their families, so the concerns of “labour” ought to be apparent to all. But the “day” becomes understandable when the development of “labour” is viewed from a historical perspective. We can begin from the cavemen when each person grubbed for food and provided their own labour for their sustenance. Things changed when we moved on to a settled mode of living with the introduction of “agriculture” to provide for our daily bread. Henceforth, some individuals would co-opt, via various strategems, others to work for them. “Labour” became reified as something outside the living, breathing persons providing it. From the West we can proceed, almost teleologically, from slaves to serfs, to servants, to “workers” who sold their “labour” that now became a “commodity”. For us in the Caribbean, the use of “labour” on the plantations ignored the previous teleology and insisted on recapitulating the process all over again: slavery, indentured labour and finally “free labour”. As to how “free” the individuals were (and are) has now become the question of the age. Marx highlighted the paradox: “with the free labourer, free in the double sense, that as a free man he can dispose of his labour-power as his own commodity, and that on the other hand, he has no other commodity for sale.” This dilemma of “free labour” is presented quite starkly in Guyana today with sugar workers, but, by some strange alchemy, their plight has not received the notice of, say, that of the workers who were asked to pay exorbitantly for parking for their vehicles in Georgetown. Even though sugar was the reason why Guyana was colonised and became a state through the revenues it generated for the investors from the colonial power, it is still not a point to be remarked that not a single sugar worker since the seventeenth century has ever become wealthy out of the wages paid for his or her labour. By definition, to be a sugar worker was to be poor and live at a subsistence level. If one were to ask why this was so, the “educated” among us – especially the economists who are supposed to have specialised in this area –- would more or less retort, “Duh! The ‘economics’ of sugar forbid higher wages to be paid to workers.” It was accepted – and still accepted – that managers and consultants and commissions of inquiries had to be paid super salaries – but not the workers. If we were to seek further explanations, we would be told that it was a matter of “supply and demand” of the labour commodity provided by sugar workers, even though managers of the sugar industry regularly complain they cannot obtain enough labour. Uitvlugt, on the West Coast of Demerara, for instance, is one of the three sugar estates the Government says will survive the axe that is presently being wielded, but at the same time complain Uitvlugt does not have enough “labour”. And it refuses to raise wages to attract that needed commodity that the economic theories insist is the solution to the problem. Today, the trade unions that represent the interests of “labour” are supposed to be marching in the streets to show their solidarity in highlighting the concerns of their constituency. From any rational standpoint, it would appear obvious they should all focus on the travails of that segment of labour where the contradictions of labour are most stark: sugar. But this would never occur, as it has not over the past century since the first trade union was launched. There is “labour” and there is “labour”, but sugar “labour” is beyond the pale.
The entire world, including Britain and the European Union (EU) are attempting to grapple with the implications of the British electorate mandating their Government that they must “leave” the EU (Brexit).While there are some, like Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge who have already commented on whether our “handouts” from the EU will be affected, maybe it is time the Ministry of Agriculture and Greenidge consider whether there are any opportunities in the divorce that can be grasped by our beleaguered sugar industry.As we all know, the EU began revising its sugar regime since 2006, including the Lome Protocol for purchasing sugar from us as a member of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group that was supposed to exist in perpetuity. As a result, our sugar prices were slashed by 36% which forced several producers in the Caribbean to exit sugar production and our industry to fall into a tailspin in the wake of efforts to reduce production costs through the Skeldon Modernisation Project.The focus of the EU in all the sugar regimes it crafted has been to protect its beet sugar industry by providing it with huge subsidies. In the meantime our sugar which had been shipped to Britain to the Tate & Lyle Sugar (TLS) on the Thames for refining was incorporated into the EU regime in 1973 and modified accordingly in the following years.Cane Sugar has been treated as a stepchild and TLS has seen its refineries gradually decrease from six to one. And even that single refinery is only operating at 59% of its 1.1million tonnes capacity.In 2012, TLS launched a “Save our Sugar” campaign and asserted: “If current and proposed EU policies continue to unfairly restrict access to raw sugar, cane refiners will not survive as part of the supply mix in Europe’s sugar sector”.In the next two years according to Art 50 of the EU Charter, Britain and the EU will be negotiating the terms of the former’s exit. The EU’s entire sugar regime which address three main areas: quota management, a reference price and a minimum guaranteed price to growers, and trade measures, will have to be replaced by Britain with a new regime.The quota management, which limits production to 13.5 tonnes of sugar is divided up between 19 member states and there are strict rules for overproduction would have ended as of 30 September, 2017.Because beet farming in Britain has never been on a scale as say France and Germany, and British farmers never received subsidies on the scale of their European counterparts, the British Government will not be faced with the same level of pressure when they negotiate new Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s) in cane sugar.This will be necessary even though the ACP countries have duty access under the extant agreement and since volume quotas can be continued, Guyana can increase shipment of its sugar what would still be higher prices than the residual world market prices.TLS has been leading the charge for renegotiation of cane sugar trade arrangements before the old arrangement expired in 2017. It can be a potent ally with countries such as Guyana.Guyana has another reason for securing the support of TLS with which it has been associated for the entire long history of the firm.TLS is part of a growing evolution of cane sugar producers that have begun to integrate vertically to achieve efficiencies of scale. It was acquired by American Sugar Refiners (ASR) which had already bought over Belize Sugar Industries.TLS is already intimately knowledgeable about the situation with Guyana’s sugar, where there does not appear to be the commitment towards reorganising it with the new corporate supply chain linkages developing.Guyana should not be agonising about “aid”, which in the end simply exacerbates our dependency syndrome. By seeking a strategic alliance with TLS, we may be able to provide employment to our citizens in sugar so they can live in dignity.
Dear Editor,Please allow me space in the letter columns to express concern as well as to educate your readers about the level of misinformation being peddled by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure as it relates to the “successes” of this Ministry.The undisputed fact is that since the APNU/AFC Granger-led Administration assumed office, no new transformational or major infrastructural project has been undertaken. All that has been reported are projects started by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration pre-May 2015, and in some instances funding moblised awaiting contract awards for execution.Let me specifically refer to a number of projects, such as: The Cheddi Jagan International Airport, the East Bank four-lane highway, the West Coast Demerara road (Vreed-en-Hoop to Ruby), the East Coast four-lane highway and upgrade (Better Hope to Belfield), the East Bank Berbice road, the Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue upgrade, the road link between East Coast and East Bank, the Guyana Power and Light power utility upgrade project (GPL’s PUUP funded by the EU/IDB), new ferry to be funded by India, the Linden-to-Lethem road, and the Kurupukari crossing. These are all projects that were in the pipeline at different stages.Therefore, I urge all Guyanese not to be fooled by the propaganda lines and sound bites being peddled by the current Administration. The only new developments in this sector are the corruption and non-compliance with procurement processes, sole-sourcing of contracts to friends and cronies, and the heavy over-reliance on the force account unit.The New Demerara River Crossing was at the pre-feasibility stage when the PPP/C demitted office in May 2015. The country is now aware that the feasibility study was sole-sourced to a preferred contractor even after more than a dozen firms had submitted bid proposals in response to a public advertisement. How this is possible only the Ministry of Public Infrastructure knows.The Wind Farm proposal was around pre-May 2015, and discussions were ongoing about the cost that would entail in a power purchase agreement, feeding into the national grid, and developing real capacity. However, the boast of the current Administration as it relates to this project is that a political investor, a publicly declared AFC financier, is the preferred investor. We are not aware of the cost to purchase electricity, and there are a number of other unknowns relative to this project.Maintenance of roads and bridges, maintenance of hinterland roads and bridges, maintenance of highways, maintenance of streetlights, maintenance of ferry vessels, maintenance of interior airstrips, maintenance of wharves and stellings, and maintenance of river and sea defences are all routine tasks of the Public Infrastructure Ministry (PIM); and in some instances, these declared programmes were not executed as confirmed by the Minister when he declared a 73% completion of the capital projects for 2017. Yet the PIM is claiming a highly successful year.Editor, Government collects taxes, and is expected to provide goods and services to its citizens. It is obvious that the APNU+AFC Government specialises in the collecting of taxes, and is still learning how to deliver goods and services to the taxpayers. This unscrupulous approach of selling propaganda through public relations blitz is a failed method that is seen and experienced by all Guyanese.It is in this environment of boast by the Minister of Public Infrastructure that Guyanese are yet to be assured of the short-term, medium-term, or even a workable long-term solution to ensuring cheap, reliable and renewable electricity.We all suffered the indignities of constant blackout during the entire year, and even during the festive season — Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.Guyanese deserve more, so we demand more of this Administration.Sincerely,Juan Edghill, PPP/CMP
One year laterAfricanised bees have taken up residence in the headteacher’s quarters at Abary Primary School, putting the lives of teaching staff and students at risk.A close-up shot of the bees at the schoolOn Wednesday, some parents contacted Guyana Times over the situation, which they say has been in existence for more than a year.Back in 2015 when the previous school year started, the bees were found and the situation was reported to regional authorities. However, since then no official from the Department of Education in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) has visited the school, situated up the Abary River and is considered one of the remote schools in the region.One parent, Ramchand Ramnarine has decided not to send his children to school since the new school term started for fear of harm from the bees which live just next to the school.“We report several times to the Regional Educational Department and the Regional Chairman and a couple weeks before school open we went to meet the REO (Regional Educational Officer) and when he understand we were there to see him, he get away. He didn’t want to speak to us.”According to Ramnarine, they first reported the dangerous situation in September 2015 and three other times before school year ended, then again shortly before schools reopened on Monday. He noted that on the last occasion, they reported the issue directly to the Regional Chairman.Meanwhile, a teacher Vanita Sukdeo says the bees in the headteacher’s quarters have prevented the school from having children involved in every aspect of the curriculum.“They cannot do any outdoor activity, so when they get their little recreation outside they can’t do that; they can’t even run, play or speak hard in the school because the noise will affect the bees and it is very dangerous for the children,” the concerned teacher related.Another teacher explained that they have also reported to regional officials about the need to look at the physical structure as well. She also mentioned the lack of the school boat service: “The Ministry of Education gave us a boat for the children to come to school but within a year the engine broke and we haven’t got any information about the boat and it is very difficult for the children to walk this long distance to get to school, and when they get to school they are so tired to commence their work.”In addition, when the parents took their concerns to the Regional Education Officer Owen Pollard last year, they also mentioned that the boat experiencing engine problems.According to the concerned parents, they were told then that the department did not have funds to repair the engine. They say they also provided a quotation for the repair which amounted to $200,000.Parents also claimed that during the rainy season, children would arrive at school and have to take a bath and change into fresh clothing before going to classrooms.In an invited comment, Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal told this newspaper that the parents met with him in August, informing him that they were not getting any assistance from the Education Department.Ramphal said he has since contacted the Regional Executive Officer, Ovid Morrison and related the concerns of the Abary residents.According to the Regional Chairman, on Monday he was told by Pollard that the department experienced no major problems as the new school year opened except for a few schools with a furniture shortage, suggesting that the Abary Primary had already been fixed.
Two exemptions will be issued at a later date to round out the 18-player field.The invitational event runs from November 29 to December 2 and will be held in the Bahamas for the fouth straight year.Tournament host Woods launched the Hero Challenge with his father in 1999.It will be the first official competition for the 14-time major winner Woods since the the US lost to Europe in the Ryder Cup in September. Woods finished a woeful 0-4 at the Ryder Cup taking his all-time record in the event to 13-21-3.The former world number one, who is ranked 13th in the world, will take on Phil Mickelson on November 23 in a one-on-one exhibition in Las Vegas for $9 million.Woods won the Tour Championship in September, his first PGA Tour win since August 2013.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000US golfer Tiger Woods, pictured October 2018, will compete in the Hero World Challenge, his first official competition since the US lost to Europe in the Ryder Cup © AFP/File / Lionel BONAVENTURELOS ANGELES, United States, Nov 9 – Tiger Woods will launch his 2018-19 competitive season later this month at the Hero World Challenge which he will be headlining along with world number one Justin Rose.The Hero World Challenge field features players from six countries and includes four of the top five and 16 of the top 23 players in the world, Woods announced Thursday.
What: Docents are needed for staffing the Poppy Reserve Visitor Center and gift shop, walking the trails, and/or leading tours from March through May. Docents may range in age from the student to the senior citizen, must be in good health and physically able to carry out their duties, be interested in learning, and have a positive, friendly attitude. The required two-day training includes basic aspects of the natural and cultural history of the desert, as well as interpretive and activity training, and visitor center staffing procedures. No experience or prior knowledge of the desert habitat or history is required. Docents are expected to donate a minimum of eight hours per month and have reliable transportation to and from the Reserve. Applicants must consent to fingerprinting, and minors are welcome with written consent of a parent or guardian. Field trips and other activities are held in recognition of your dedication. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Where: Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve: Lancaster Blvd., 15 miles west off Highway 14 Avenue I exit To post your own stories and photos, log on to valleynews.com.
0Shares0000Bayern Munich’s Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal runs with the ball during a Bundesliga match against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on November 21, 2015. PHOTO/AFPBERLIN, December 16- Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal is relishing the Champions League last 16 clash against his former club Juventus, but says he would have prefered to meet them in the final.Bayern play Juventus in Turin in the first leg on February 23, then host last season’s finalists at Munich’s Allianz Arena on March 16 for a place in the quarter-finals. It will be Vidal’s first return to Turin since signing for Bayern in July and the Chile international is wary of resurgent Juve, who have climbed to fourth in Serie A on the back of six straight victories.“They are very strong. They had a few problems at the start of the season, but that was to be expected because they changed many players,” Vidal told German daily Bild.“I would have preferred to have had them in the final.”Bayern are set to face their former striker Mario Mandzukic, who joined Juventus from Atletico Madrid before the start of the season, while France Under-21 winger Kingsley Coman joined Bayern in August on a two-year loan deal from Juve.“It will be a great match,” said Coman, who has scored four goals for Bayern since his arrival.“I am looking forward to it, because I came to Bayern to play in big games like this.”Bayern are eager to reach this season’s Champions League final in Milan on May 28 having exited in the semi-finals for the last two years running.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Residents of Fort St. John were recognized for their great Canadian character and achievements as part of the celebrations of Canada 150 by Molson Canadian.Only 1,500 Canadians will receive a specially designed wooden crate while only 150 Canadians will receive a fridge. Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman was one of the 150 to receive a fridge. There were 13 citizens from Fort St. John out of 1,500 in the country to receive a crate.The Fort St. John residents that received a crate were:Bernardo FabiaAdam ReaburnEliza StanfordTrudy and Wolf KorfmannSteven CooperSterling MiddletonKim LivingstoneJeanette JohnstonAlan YuFaisal RashidPaul Van NorstandCindy DettlingRaven Pruden- Advertisement -Ferg Devins and Molson Coors representative Kyle Flannagan were on hand to celebrate the accomplishments.“It’s so great to meet so many of you that we’ve been back and forth on email in some instances since January,” said Devins. “I said to the Mayor months ago that the enthusiasm that I felt from this group and particularly from her [Mayor Ackerman], Fort St. John was a place I needed to see.”Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman speaks after being recognized by Molson Canadian for great Canadian Character along with 13 other Fort St. John citizens/Photo: Jessica FediganAdvertisement Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman was emotional when accepting her fridge and recognition. She thanked the citizens of Fort St. John as she says they are the reason where she is.“You get involved in community because that is how you give back and so thank you to you guys for everything that you have done.Volunteers are the lifeblood of this community and when I see what’s going on with the fires more than hundreds of kilometres away and how our community has stepped up, it just makes me so proud to be able to represent you. It’s just so important that we are there for our neighbours.My heart goes out to each and everyone of you for the work you have done in the community and I am what I am because of you.”Advertisement
Are you Donegal’s next Stephen Spielberg?A new screenwriting for beginners course is seeking out Donegal’s raw cinematic talent.Starting on January 28th for six weeks every Saturday afternoon in the Regional Cultural centre, Letterkenny, it wants people from all levels with a gem of a story that could work as a film or TV script. It will be taught by an award winning filmmaker and writer Orla Walsh (The Visit, Stew and Riders to the Sea) originally from Dublin now living in Inishowen.You can sign up by calling the Regional Cultural Centre at 074-9129186 or Orla at 085-1471631.All welcome and it costs 90 euros.It could make you a fortune…. © 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law. Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldaily ARE YOU DONEGAL’S NEXT STEPHEN SPIELBERG? was last modified: January 6th, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:letterkennyRegional Cultural Centrescreenwriter’s course
We were one Mike down for Saturday’s Warm Up show as Mike ‘Porky’ Parry was joined by Andy Townsend for a different brand of weekend madness and mayhem!The duo preview all the weekend’s football action, chat with former Chelsea and Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Dave Beasant and uncover the mystery about why having more hair makes a more successful manager…Listen to the latest Two Mikes One Mike podcast above!