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”.
Hardik Pandya revisited the words of Mahendra Singh Dhoni during his international debut in Australia, which has impacted and shaped up his short career and has showed him the way to be on a cricketing field.Pandya shared that Dhoni reprimanded him after he got over-excited upon getting his first international wicket. Pandya had got for 21 runs in his first international over and getting Chris Lynn out fired him to the extent of getting an ICC Code of Conduct warning on his debut.”It was nightmare, giving 21 runs in my first international over. First time in my life I was blank, I didn’t know what to do. But Mahi bhai being a legend said ‘aaja doosra over daal’ (come, bowl another over). I went for 6 runs in the first ball and it was like 1.1 overs and I went for 28 runs. But after that I gave only 7-8 runs in two overs and took two wickets. He (Dhoni) didn’t say anything but I still remember in the post-match press conference, he said ‘I knew that after the first over, he will be a better bowler for sure’.””After getting Lynn out, I still remember I got over-excited. Mahi bhai then said ‘you are doing this thing for the last time because you will get banned plus the team will lose a player. So we don’t want that’. I was like ‘ya sorry’. I might be the first player to get ICC Code of Conduct warning in the first international game. I just thought after that ‘for a couple of slangs, I won’t lose money, it’s my hard earned money,” Pandya told Gaurav Kapur at Breakfast with Champions.advertisementEarlier in the year, Pandya scored his maiden Test hundred in just 86 deliveries against Sri Lanka at Pallekele. With the century, he became the quickest Indian to score a century batting at No.8 in the longest format.Pandya shared that he could not sleep the night before he scored that hundred. He said he was under extreme anxiety till the time he stepped on the field next morning.”I was not able to sleep the previous night till 3. My anxiety level was very high because I had previously got out to the same bowler and I was furious then. I usually don’t think much when I get out but if I lose my wicket in a certain way, I think a lot.”That morning everyone noticed that I wasn’t talking to anyone and only warming up. It was like in 10 minutes, I asked 5-6 times about the start of play and as soon as the umpire signalled, I went out and it was only then that I calmed down. I remember all the fielders were at the boundary only and I was like, ‘bro, I am going all guns blazing’,” Pandya told.Pandya revealed that the hairstyle he currently spots is actually given to him by India opener Shikhar Dhawan, who cleaned half his hair when the all-rounder has asked Dhawan to just remove some of his hair.”I asked Shikhar to remove a bit of my hair but he removed it all. I was like it’s alright. I am pretty confident that I can carry it so it’s okay.”