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St. Kitts sugar workers take home $4million in holiday pay

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August 13 Basseterre St. Kitts: Workers in the sugar industry took home just over EC$4 million for their final week’s pay, holiday pay and other bonuses when they were paid on Friday 5th August. Overseas workers who were paid similar benefits on Wednesday July 27th took home close to $1 million, said government officials.

Financial Controller at the St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation (SSMC), Mr. Oswald Martin said that local workers shared a total of EC$4,058,200 excluding severance pay and overseas workers, EC$777,394.

In a meeting with sugar workers prior to the official closure of the sugar industry, St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil  Douglas said the final total payout to end the industry is expected to be approximately EC$44 million.

Dr. Douglas told hundreds of sugar workers during a meeting at the Factory Social Centre, that his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration has accepted the 1961 Agreement, which calls for long service workers in the field and factory to be paid severance of 104 weeks instead of the 52 weeks legislated by law in the 1986 Protection of Employment Act passed by the former People’s Action Movement Administration.
The 104 weeks severance payment will be paid in two installments. The first payment will meet the requirement of 52 weeks in compliance with the 1986 Protection of Employment Act and will be paid during the second week of September. That will be paid in six weeks and not in 12 weeks as stipulated under the 1986 Act. The second payment will be paid before or in December.

Dr. Douglas said sugar workers who retired since 1975 and who went home without any gratuity or pension, will also be paid now get a gratuity when the monies are paid.

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