Wales severance criesAfter feeling that their calls have been ignored, former Wales Sugar Estate cane harvesters will once again picket the President’s office with the aim of having someone in authority look into their severance package plight.According to information received by Guyana Times, the former employees, their families and other supporters will gather at the Ministry of the Presidency on Wednesday morning to intensify their calls for termination benefits. This publication was told that the protest was likely to be taken to the High Court as almost one year has passed and the workers’ legal suit was yet to be called up before a judge.Former workers of Wales Estate have planned additional protests for tomorrowOfficial operations at the Wales Estate were closed in December 2016, and some displaced cane cutters were still to receive their severance pay. Earlier this month, the former Wales workers staged similar protest action and expressed much frustration that their colleagues from other estates were paid all or part of their severance, just weeks after the entities were closed.However, their former employer, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has maintained that these workers were not entitled to this benefit, with acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State entity, Paul Bhim saying earlier this month that GuySuCo has honoured all its obligations regarding the payment of severance at the Wales Estate.The workers who have been refused severance had refused to take up work at Uitvlugt on the contention that 22 miles were beyond the stipulation that the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act (TESPA) allows. They have observed that they could not be compelled to travel beyond 10 miles from their original place of work. The retrenched employees’ representative body, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) had taken the matter to court since March 2017.Since losing their jobs in late 2016, the former Wales Estate workers, their relatives and other residents in the surrounding communities have complained of deleting finances and sustenance challenges. Reports reaching this newspaper indicated that the remaining skeletal staff at Wales will similarly lose their employment as early as March.The closure of Wales affected and displaced over 1000 workers directly and thousands of persons in Wales and the surrounding communities indirectly. Meanwhile, over 4000 workers attached to the Enmore, Skeldon, and Rose Hall Estates were given dismissal letters in December 2017. However, some of the former Enmore and Skeldon workers could be rehired under plans by the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) to re-open the two estates as the State-owned body eyes private investors. This revelation has prompted stakeholders, including GAWU, to push Government to rehire all of the dismissed sugar workers on the contention that the sugar industry remained viable.Meanwhile, GAWU on Monday sought to respond to media reports that when Enmore and Skeldon resume temporary operations that cane cutting will be undertaken by a contractor reportedly from West Coast Demerara. GAWU views this report as an upsetting development, noting that this indicates that few of the displaced workers will have an opportunity to be re-employed.According to its press statement, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has found that the promotion of such arrangements has served to “expand the army of the working poor across the world”.
Top hitter Jon Villarreal (.321, 21 RBIs in 2006) and ace right-hander Justin Burke (5-7, 4.00 ERA) are back, and the team is also excited about freshman phenom Kevin Lenik, a 6-foot-3 outfielder/pitcher with a national travel-ball reputation. “I’m trying to get this team back on the map,” second-year coach Josh Lienhard said. “Granada Hills used to be really good, but the last time we made the (Championship) playoffs was 2001. We’ve won three Invitational titles in five years, but that’s not what we’re shooting for.” Saturday was an eventful day in community baseball circles. El Camino Real’s field in Woodland Hills was named after former coach Mike Maio during a campus ceremony. Also, former Alemany High of Mission Hills standout A.J. Anthony, a rookie in the Dodgers organization, returned to his hometown Mission Hills Little League to give the kids an opening-day pep talk in celebration of the league’s 50-year anniversary. Former Valencia High softball standout Courtney Baughman, now a Hawaii sophomore, returned to Southern California on Wednesday, pitching the Rainbows to a 14-1 victory at Loyola Marymount. The hard-throwing right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 22 innings. Moorpark High girls’ basketball player Lauren Carter is old school, pulling her socks all the way up to her knees but with a twist. One sock is green, the other gold, matching the school colors. Some local basketball alumni news to report. Monte Marcaccini, a former Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks standout who led the Knights to a 1993 section championship, has launched an Italian ice cream business with brothers Giancarlo (Notre Dame) and Gian-Andre (Crespi). “I love the ice-cream business,” Marcaccini said. “Our best flavor is hazelnut, and no, it’s not low-calorie. I’m trying to stay at my playing weight in high school, but it’s not easy.” Also, David Wright, a Buckley of Sherman Oaks standout during the school’s prime sports years in the mid-1970s, is working as a Tiffany’s executive. His daughter, Kat, a sixth-grader with lots of basketball potential, already is considered a star on the rise. Will we ever see another straight-on kicker in high school football? Today’s generation probably doesn’t even know what one looks like, unless they’ve seen old video of George Blanda. And finally, ever notice an abandoned newspaper is always missing its sports section? Gerry Gittelson’s column appears Sundays in the Daily News. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5218 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The big basketball surprise at Burroughs High in Burbank isn’t that the underdog Indians started in the wild-card round and advanced all the way to the Southern Section Div. II-AA quarterfinals, before losing Friday to Murrieta Valley. It’s a well-kept secret that standout senior guard Chris Smith is the son of rapper Tone Loc, who is famous for the hits “Funky Cold Medina” and “Wild Thing.” Coach Art Sullivan tells people about Loc if asked, but he hasn’t gone around proclaiming to everyone that he is coaching the son of a well-known rap artist. “I try not to associate a player with who his dad is,” Sullivan said. “Tone is actually pretty demanding on Chris. He makes sure Chris stays on top of things.” A former gang member from Compton who hit the big time, Loc has made sure his son does well in school. Smith, who said he hopes to play college basketball, is Burroughs’ top player and a top student. “I remember my grades slipped a little at the end of my 10th grade year, and my dad wouldn’t let me play basketball all summer,” Smith said. Once among the San Fernando Valley’s most feared high school baseball programs, five-time City Section baseball champion Granada Hills hasn’t won a Championship- division title since 1984. But the Highlanders are hoping to reassert themselves and keep up with the Chatsworths, Kennedys and ECRs of the world, and they just might have the players – and attitude – to do it this season. It has purposely been kept low key, so you wouldn’t have known Smith is Tone Loc’s son unless you happened to catch them cruising together in Loc’s Mercedes. “My dad still wears his gold glasses, so sometimes people recognize him and ask for an autograph,” Smith said. “Me, I don’t really get into singing or any of that myself. I just want to play basketball.”