247 Trelawny Sugar Workers Made Redundant
247 sugar workers employed through both Hampden and Long Pond Sugar Estates in Trelawny have been made redundant by Everglade Farms, owners of both factories.
The owners have decided to cease operating the agricultural aspect of their business.
First Vice President of UAWU Clifton Grant told Irie FM News, that the union (which represents the workers) was made aware of the companies’ decision during a meeting.
It has been a long, hard struggle to keep sugar going in Trelawny. For years, the government tried to keep it going, even when it was under private ownership.
Back in the 2015-2016 crop season, the government had to take over operations at the Long Pond Factory as the Hussy family led Everglade Farms decided to close the factory for the crop year.
In the following year, 2016-2017, the government provided financial support for the transportation of 50,000 tonnes of the raw material from Clark’s Town, Trelawny, facility to Worthy Park in St Catherine at an estimated cost of $50 million.
This year, 2018, the government committed another $70 million to assist farmers in Trelawny with the transportation of sugar cane to the Appleton Estate and Worthy Park factories this year.
The End Of An Era?
Now the news that 247 sugar workers will be made redundant, it seems like it is the end of an era. Long Pond’s history in Trelawny dates back to 1753, when both a sugar factory and rum distillery were created.
Areas surrounding both factories are struggling economically. Here a worker tells of her plight.
Parish’s Economy To Be Affected
Member of Parliament, Victor Wright, stated the obvious, that Trelawny’s economy will be affected.
The workers will be paid notice pay on November 15 and redundancy payments on December 7. Unskilled and largely uneducated, the cane workers will now have to seek employment.
MP Wright says he will be holding the necessary consultations with the affected (former) workers to see how best they can be assisted.