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Sugar workers and producers reach agreement

Published:Friday | April 4, 2014 | 9:47 AM

Deon Green, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The island’s more than 4,000 sugar workers have reached an agreement with their employers for a wage increase.




The two-year wage contract was agreed on at a meeting at the ministry of labour yesterday.



Island Supervisor of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) Harold Brown, says under the settlement that daily paid and task rate workers will receive an eight percent increase on wages in year one and a five percent increase in year two.



For crop bonus, there will be a five percent increase in year one and three percent in year two. 



The agreement commences on January 2014 and will take effect in April with retroactive payments to be made back to January.



Thos payments are set to begin by May 9.



The sugar federation had proposed to pay sugar workers an increase of seven per cent in year one and three per cent in year two.



But the sugar workers and their unions were demanding a 13 per cent increase in the first year of the contract and an eight and a half per cent increase in the second.



Brown says although the workers were expecting a greater percentage increase, they are still grateful to the industry under the circumstances.



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