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Sugar Plantation Workers Lay Down Tools Over Delayed Payment

The striking workers, mainly contracted by Ayuu Alali Sugarcane OutGrowers Cooperatives Society to cut and load cane for transportation to the factory, laid down their tools on Monday over their unpaid dues for the past three months.

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Over 200 casual laborers under Ayuu Alali Sugarcane plantation in Palabek Kal Sub County, Lamwo district have laid down their tools protesting delayed payment of their wages and other benefits. 

The striking workers, mainly contracted by Ayuu Alali Sugarcane Outgrowers Cooperatives Society to cut and load cane for transportation to the factory, laid down their tools on Monday over their unpaid dues for the past three months. 

Richard Oryem, one of the aggrieved casual laborers, says that they declined to attend to their daily duties since their employers have ignored their pleas to pay them, adding that there is no amount of threats that can demoralize them from continuing with the

strike. 

According to Oryem, they are entitled to between Shillings 200,000 and 700,000 each, which they have been demanding for months now.

//Cue in: “gin madong tye…..

Cue out: ….. gamo cime,”//

Another worker who preferred anonymity for fear of reprisal from their bosses said their repeated talks with the management of Ayuu Alali Out growers Cooperative Society to pay them have yielded nothing. 

He claims that the managers have instead resorted to threats and empty promises to clear their dues in vain. Francis Ojwiya, the Chairperson Ayuu Alali Sugarcane Outgrowers Cooperatives Society, says that only a few workers have laid down their tools owing to external forces.   

He acknowledged the delayed payment of the casual laborers, which he blamed on the impediments to achieving their threshold of 3000 tonnes of sugarcane needed at the factory before payment is made. 

According to Ojwiya, they have been unable to achieve the required tonnage due to hiccups resulting from wild bushfires that have razed down several hectares of sugar cane affecting both the quality and quantity required by Atiak Sugar Works.    

//Cue in: “but dano tye…..

Cue out: …..for payment”//  

The Lamwo Resident District Commissioner, James Nabinson Kidega condemned the strike, saying the aggrieved employees should have sought help from their local leaders.

He says that they have deployed security personnel in the sugar cane plantations to calm down the situation and avert any possible violence.