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Sugar workers could strike tomorrow

Strike action could hit the sugar industry tomorrow. Three weeks into the 2014 sugar cane harvest, sources tell Barbados TODAY that workers at Portvale, St James, will down tools tomorrow in solidarity with workers laid off at Andrews last week.

A trailer pulling into Portvale Factory.

A trailer pulling into Portvale Factory.

The factory, which has been closed to facilitate the construction of a new state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility, has chosen to make the positions of 57 of its 121 staff redundant. General manager of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company, Leslie Parris, said the decision followed lengthy consultations since June last year with the Barbados Workers’ Union and the Sugar Industries Staff Association.

Officials had said the workers would receive redundancy payments in accordance with legislation. However, Barbados TODAY understands that the employees are not happy with their packages and their Portvale colleagues are backing them.

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