Wage strikes in Jamaica threaten sugar exports

Strikes over wages brought Jamaica's sugar industry to a near-standstill Saturday, raising doubts that the island would achieve its 1981 production target of 230,000 metric tons. Officials said most estates were shut down after negotiations between labor unions and the producers' federation collapsed.

Two unions representing an estimated 10,000 workers on 12 major public and private estates had originally demanded a 66 percent wage rise and a 30 percent end-of-crop bonus. They reduced these demands to 30 percent and 15 percent, respectively, but the producers offered only a 15 percent wa ge increase.

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