Rose Hall Estate closureWorkers attached to the Rose Hall Sugar Estate in East Berbice have, in a bid to save their livelihoods, said it is not too late for Government to reconsider closing the estate at the end of the crop.The workers addressed the media on Wednesday at a press conference organized by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) at the union’s New Amsterdam office.Reading a prepared speech, Glen McCloud, one of the workers’ representatives, declared the workers were hopeful that there would have been a relook at the intention, recognizing the obvious hardship that would result from the estate’s closure.Some Rose Hall Estate workersEver since announcement of the estate’s imminent closure, the workers, backed by the unions GAWU and NAACIE, have taken to the streets in several protest demonstrations to signal to Government the negative impact that closure would have on workers and the economy as a whole.However Government, three weeks ago, said it was a done deal, and that it would proceed with the closure.“For us of Rose Hall, closure can be seen as a death knell for so many hardworking people and their families. For us of Rose Hall, closure means that our plans for life, our dreams for a better tomorrow, and our aspirations for our children and grandchildren have all but been dashed. For us of Rose Hall, closure will bring about uncertain times and many difficult, misery-filled days ahead. For us of Rose Hall, closure can be seen as a death knell for so many hardworking people and their families.”Another worker pointed out that for families of Rose Hall, the closure means that their life plans, dreams for a better tomorrow, and aspirations for their children and grandchildren have all but been dashed.“For us of Rose Hall, closure will bring about uncertain times and many difficult, misery-filled days ahead.“For us of Rose Hall, closure brings about real questions, like where would our next meal come from? How would our children and grandchildren go to school? And how would we earn and meet our obligations?“For us of Rose Hall, closure means difficult choices have to be made. Would we eat, or would we pay the electricity bills? Would we send the children to school, or would we buy clothes? Would we starve, or do we have to do something not necessarily right to put food on the table.”According to the workers, they were hoping that decision-makers, recognising the difficulties which now face the people of Wales, would have harboured second thoughts.“Rose Hall’s closure brings about real questions, like where would our next meal come from? How would (our) children and grandchildren go to school? And how would (we) earn in order to meet the obligations, which include electricity and water bills?” the worker said.Meanwhile, three weeks ago, GuySuCo announced plans to retrench 2,500 workers by the end of this year.GAWU said the downsizing and subsequent closure of sugar estates would lead to the loss of more than 15,000 jobs and the potential threat of poverty for between 50,000 and 100,000 people.Responding to reporters, McCloud said the Government has made no provision for the workers who will be sent home.He said there is nothing that they can believe, since they have been told several different stories of plans for displaced estate workers, including that they will be absorbed in the NDIA drainage crew.Inderjeet Bhopaud, another workers’ representative, told reporters that in East Canje, the economy has almost come to a standstill, even though everyone is still on the job and receiving their wages.The workers are calling on the Government to put in place competent persons to manage its resources, claiming that the sugar company is currently headed by persons who have a vendetta against sugar workers, who were instrumental in those persons’ dismissal before they were rehired under the current administration. (Andrew Carmichael)
IPL table-toppers Mumbai Indians might have suffered back-to-back defeats after securing a play-off berth, but there was no need to press the panic button, said West Indian Kieron Pollard.Mumbai Indians lost by seven runs last night to Kings XI Punjab in a high-scoring game here.”It shows we are humans and can’t win every game. As I said we keep improving. We had sort of a dismal performance against Sunrisers (Hyderabad). We have bounced back pretty well on a good wicket. We fought,” said Pollard, who blasted an unbeaten 50 in 24 balls for a lost cause.”We are playing against opposition, professionals in their own right. It’s not always you will turn up and win a cricket game.”(But) there is no need to panic. We will keep our heads high. We have qualified and the first step in every tournament is qualification. We have not taken our foot off the gas.”(Loss) Just shows we can make mistakes as well. We lost two games in a row. If we pick up momentum and win the next three, then you will be asking how is the championship feeling,” he retorted when asked how back-to-back losses could affect the team going into the play-offs.The two-time champions began their campaign with a loss to Rising Pune Supergiant, had a great run of six successive wins before their trans-Sahyadri rivals again stopped the spree by beating them at the Wankhede Stadium here.From then on it has been a mixed bag and the worst show was against the Sunrisers in Hyderabad when they were tied down to a low score of 138 for seven which was easily overhauled by their rivals with seven wickets to spare.advertisementYesterday, on an off day for most of their bowlers, MI allowed KXIP to rattle up a season-high score of 230-3 and then came very close to achieving the highest-ever successful run-chase in IPL history by reaching 223-6, thanks to opener Lendl Simmons’ 32-ball 59 and Pollard’s blistering knock that contained five towering sixes.Had MI won, Punjab would have been knocked out of play- off contention, but they survived by the skin of the teeth despite rattling up a tall score.The giant Trinidadian complimented rival stumper Wriddhiman Saha, who notched up 93 not out in 55 balls, and visiting team skipper Glen Maxwell (47 in 21 balls) for powering KXIP to the tall score, only the third time they have reached 230 in ten editions of IPL.”It was a great game of cricket from both sides. We call it (Wankhede track) a bowlers’ graveyard. It’s good we stuck to our guns. These are the games you want going into the play- off rounds.”Saha batted very well, Maxi as well. They took the initiative right from the start and we knew we were in for a tough game. As I said someone has to win, someone has to lose and we were the losing side,” said Pollard, who brought MI closer to the target in the company of Hardik Pandya (30 in 13 balls).The duo added 55 runs in less than four overs to send KXIP into a tizzy before the visitors gathered their wits in the last two overs to stop MI’s surge just short of the target.Pollard conceded that the Wankhede Stadium match track was a very good one to bat on, perhaps the best of the pitches laid out at this venue this season thus far.”Yes, I think so. It was a very good wicket. As you can see runs were scored. It was a very good cricket match as well. In T20 cricket when a side scores 230, more often than not they don’t give you a chance. We came as close as possible.”Pollard said he did not feel much pressure as he was out in the middle and trying to concentrate on the job in hand.”These are the moments you practice for. This is what professional sport and cricket is all about. Once you are in the middle the pressure is not as hard as actually watching it from the dug-out. I was in the middle and so it was pretty easy,” he said.”I don’t know how others were feeling in the dug-out. I know when I am in the dug-out I feel the pressure. Once you are in the middle the pressure is different there is a job to do and you try to do the job to your best (ability),” he concluded.