The Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU) has decided not to participate in any of the May Day rallies, in protest of the ongoing rift within the umbrella trades union body, the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC).
The decision was taken at a meeting of the CCWU’s Executive which was held last Thursday.
The CCWU said that the ongoing rift is seriously undermining the solidarity of workers, since the union feels that the continuing divide provides employers with more opportunities to exploit workers.
Over recent years there have been separate May Day rallies following a split of the trades union congress which saw several unions including Guyana’s largest labour union – the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) – breaking away to form the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG).
“A united trade union rally on May Day would be a good way to go, but the CCWU recognizes that at this time again it is impossible, having spoken with officials of FITUG and the GTUC recently,” the CCWU said in a statement.
It was further stated that the CCWU associates with both FITUG and GTUC, and the executive called for the CCWU to demonstrate its disgust with both bodies over the continuing rift.
“We feel that no strong enough effort is being made to seal the rift,” CCWU General Secretary Grantley Culbard told this newspaper in an invited comment yesterday.
Mediation efforts by two distinguished union leaders in the Caribbean – Sir Roy Trotman, General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union and George DePeana, former General Secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour and also a former General Secretary of the CCWU – have failed.
The CCWU believes that a way must be found to mend the divide in the interest of the workers.
The union is calling for FITUG and GTUC to “talk some sense” and not be rigid about certain positions.
“The GTUC appears not to be interested in any unification, hence not enough effort is being made on their part,” Culbard said, while urging that compromise be found to stop what is going on, to the detriment of workers’ solidarity.
Although the CCWU will not be participating in any of the May Day rallies, the union indicated that it will participate in other Labour Week activities and expressed the hope that the same position does not exist next year.
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