A few months ago, I met Frank Williams, now 65, a former cane cutter of Herstelling, who had provided me with “pay slips” to show that he worked for Guysuco from 1976 to 2011.
I can understand the hurt Frank must have felt after serving Guysuco for 35 years, having his contributions deducted for all those years and being told by the NIS that he had only made 438 contributions and as such was not eligible for a pension. Frank told me that there are many others who had suffered the same fate.
My fellow Guyanese, this is the degree of corporate greed unleashed by two state enterprises – Guysuco and NIS – on the working class, in the hands of the PPP.
We all remember how the PPP took billions from NIS and invested in the Berbice bridge without consultation with the citizenry – giving the private partners with 20 percent investment 20 years to recoup their investment and how that deal was mired in a secrecy clause.
When Guysuco was faltering in 2014 it did not pay its dues to the NIS – half of which was contributions deducted from workers based on how the NIS system works. It seemed like a plot was devised by NIS to frustrate and deny Guysuco’s workers their pensions as they became eligible to receive it.
It’s difficult to understand how Frank Williams worked for 35 years with Guysuco and only amassed 438 contributions. All of Frank’s “payslips” shows NIS deductions by Guysuco. I stand corrected if someone can show me a Guysuco payslip without a NIS deduction.
Frank Williams was offered $87,000 dollars as a one-time payoff for the 438 contributions the folks at NIS claimed they found. Uneducated, poor and helpless, Frank accepted the offer.
My heart goes out to people like Frank Williams who served this country, paid their NIS dues and have been denied a pension that they so rightly deserve.
This collateral damage to human lives must not be allowed to prevail.
It is no fault of Frank Williams that his records were not properly kept at NIS, his job was to cut cane – the man paid his dues and as such deserves his pension.
I made a promise to Frank Williams to help him get his NIS pension. I am calling firstly on the Minister of Labour to step in and correct this injustice done to those Guysuco stalwarts like Frank Williams.