Closure of LBI operationsCriticisms are already being piled on the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government as the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) announced plans to close the La Bonne Intention (LBI) Sugar estate later this year. This is the second factory to suffer this fate since the coalition took office last May.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoThe Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) on Thursday released a joint statement announcing that they were informed by GuySuCo on Tuesday that the remaining facilities at the LBI estate will be closed during the course of 2016.During the discussions, GuySuCo informed the Unions that it will close half the operations of the Field Workshop, Mill Dock, Field Lab, Stores and Administrative Offices that are based at the LBI estate and merge them with similar operations at the Enmore Estate.Reacting to this news, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo described the decision by Government to close the estate as “another act that reflects the secretive approach that is characteristic of the APNU/AFC Government, in relation to decisions that affect the lives of thousands of ordinary Guyanese.”“In the last year, we have come to expect that the Government will make decisions that affect the Guyanese people in a manner that lacks transparency and without consultations,” Jagdeos aid.He reminded of his warning of the “callous and uncaring decision” by the APNU/AFC Administration, saying the closure of the Wales Sugar Estate was not the end of the ‘reform’ proposed and being advanced by APNU/AFC in the sugar industry.“I had said that the Wales Estate was the first casualty. I am deeply disturbed by the news of this impending closure. Hundreds of workers will be affected,” Jagdeo said in his statement.He added that his People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will stand by the sugar workers to fight this decision by the 10-month-old coalition Government.In 2011, GuySuCo under the PPP/C Administration, had closed the LBI Sugar Factory, however, the Corporation had assured that the other operations of the Estate will remain functioning.The workers were merged with those from the Enmore Estate.However, at the time of that closure, the workers and their Unions were assured that there will be no closure of any other department after the closure of the factory.Already, Government announced its decision to close the Wales Sugar Estate and transfer the workers to the Uitvlugt operations.There have been widespread protests and industry-wide strike actions against the move in an effort to build pressure on the Administration to rescind this decision; however, it has not budged to date.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAKE FOREST, Ill. – A day later, after a gloomy end to an otherwise surprisingly good season, Nathan Vasher noticed the sunshine outside Halas Hall. Then, he predicted a bright future for the Chicago Bears. Their season ended Sunday with a 29-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional playoffs. And now, the question is: Are they ready to take another step up the NFL’s hierarchy, or was this another one-year aberration? “It was very disappointing, but the sun did come out today and it was a bright day so we just look forward to next season, and we know that we started out on the right foot this year and we just try to continue to build on that,” Vasher, the Pro Bowl cornerback, said Monday. Making their first postseason appearance in four years, the Bears allowed a season-high 434 yards. They were unable to contain Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith or get to quarterback Jake Delhomme, whom they sacked eight times in a 13-3 victory in November. Smith caught two touchdown passes and finished with a career-high 218 yards. And Delhomme was sacked just once while passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns. That explains why Carolina is preparing for the NFC championship game in Seattle and the Bears are turning their attention toward next season. Chicago was an unexpected 11-5 in the regular season, reversing its 2004 record and winning the NFC North after a 1-3 start in coach Lovie Smith’s second season. The Bears won eight straight and scored their signature victory over a Carolina team that ultimately ended their season. And they reached the postseason despite losing Rex Grossman to a broken left ankle in the preseason, an injury that kept their starting quarterback out of the first 13 games. Now, the Bears hope things don’t fall apart the way they did following their previous playoff appearance. After going 13-3 in 2001 and earning a first-round bye, Chicago lost by 14 to Philadelphia. Then, injuries hit. The Bears plummeted to 4-12 the following year. Two more losing seasons followed, a fact that was not lost on middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. The 2001 team, like the current group, was relatively young. The oldest regular starter on a defense that was the NFL’s toughest to score on this season is 28-year-old Adewale Ogunleye. “We were young last time, too, and we ended up being 4-12 the next year,” Urlacher, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, said after Sunday’s loss. “I’d like to think we’ll be better next year. We have a lot of guys coming back. … We’re optimistic, but I’m not going to look at that right now.” Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera thought back to the atmosphere in the locker room after the Bears lost 23-0 to San Francisco in the NFC championship game following the 1984 season. There was anger, resolve. And a year later, there was a Super Bowl celebration. “These guys feel the same type of fervor,” said Rivera, a former linebacker. “They can’t wait until we get started for next season. … I think there are a lot of plusses we can take from this. I believe that guys do have a defiant attitude because of what happened, and we’ll be better for it.” With most of his players signed through next season, coach Lovie Smith does not expect major changes. Cornerback Jerry Azumah and right guard Terrence Metcalf are unrestricted free agents, but both might be expendable. Smith liked what he saw from Grossman, who added some versatility to a run-heavy offense when he returned late in the season. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian gave the Bears a deep threat the last few weeks after returning from a thumb injury. And the running game … behind an experienced offensive line … was solid the whole season. In his second season with the Bears and sixth in the league, Thomas Jones ran for a career-high 1,335 yards. And backup Adrian Peterson rushed for 391, averaging 5.1 per carry. “Thomas is definitely No. 1 in our rotation,” Smith said. Where does that leave Cedric Benson, the No. 4 pick in the draft? After sitting out the preseason in a contract holdout and missing six games with a sprained ligament in his right knee, Benson rushed for 272 yards in nine appearances. “The next year is normally a lot better than that rookie year, and I see it that way for Cedric,” Smith said. As for the Bears as a whole: “We’ll build on this effort,” Smith said. “We have our core players in place.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita