GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) -- More than 10,000 sugarcane workers in the South American country of Guyana have ended a weeklong protest after the government ordered an arbiter to review demands for higher pay.

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union said Friday that talks are expected to begin next week.

Union leaders demand a 10 percent increase, while the state-run Guyana Sugar Corp. has offered 3 percent.

Sugar is Guyana's top export and accounts for a quarter of its gross domestic product.

The industry is the country's largest employer with about 15,000 workers. It exports more than 180,000 tons (163,000 metric tons) of sugar to Europe annually, and another 12,000 tons (11,000 metric tons) to the U.S.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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