Postal workers stage protest at ERC
Yesterday, the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) attracted a protest by casual employees recently released by the Guyana Post Office Corporation. The casuals numbering 149 were given termination letters on December 31, 2009.
According to Harold Shepherd, President of the Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers’ Union, the protest was to highlight the actions of the Chairman of the GPOC who is also the chairman of the ERC— Bishop Juan Edghill.
Shepherd said that this is a conflict of interest since the bishop is discriminating against the 149 casual workers by terminating their services without any notification and care. And at the same time he cannot process their complaints.
He said many of the casuals may have taken hire purchase deals for the festive season and are out of a job. The union is prepared to take various forms of action to ensure that justice prevails.
Shepherd further said that Edghill’s action shows that he is unfit to be chairman of both organisations.
He added the Chairman of GPOC makes reference that the organisation is in deficit but he stills hires contract employees who are paid super salaries and also given gratuity every six months.
The president said that the Union has complained on many occasions about the chairman of the board to the Ministry of Labour.
According to Chairman Edghill, an objective criterion has been established in the Post Office to determine how many persons would be needed at each office.
He said that the delivery of mail involves the number of households; the volume of circulated mail in the particular community and how much personnel would be needed for delivery since all the managers of the Post Office knows their duties.
“This would be one of the factors responsible for the shedding of casuals. If the board had only made a decision to send home casuals from chosen offices there would have been a different scenario put forward” said Bishop Juan Edghill
The casual employee’s workers had also staged a protest in front of the GPOC Monday to protest their termination.
Meanwhile the Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers Union has issued a released stating that it was concerned about the arbitrary dismissal of the workers.
The release said that the dismissal was not honoring the principles in the Memorandum of Agreement between the GPOC and the GPTWU and also the termination of employment and severance pay act of 1997.
The union stated that it tried its best to give a clear outline of the issue, adding that the workers were employed with the Guyana Post Office Cooperation for over a year.
The release further stated that the issue of them being appointed was being address at the bilateral level between the two unions.