GAWU collaborates to launch one year project
Under the theme “Promoting Legal Rights and Building Union Capacity in Guyana” the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) along with Britain’s General Union (GMB), have begun a year-long project that started yesterday at GAWU, on High Street, Kingston.
The Project aims to train 180 union representatives from late June 2010 to March 2011.
According to GAWU, the training will address five identified pieces of labour legislation namely: Trade Union Recognition Act, the Trade Union Act, the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Prevention of Discrimination Act while addressing some trade union related subjects.
The objective is to provide participants with a practical understanding of the aforementioned legislation and other subjects with a view to enhance the ability of shop stewards or representative in conducting purposeful representation on behalf of workers at the workplace. The majority of participants are shop stewards or potential shop stewards.
Some of the trade unions and other relevant subjects are the history of NAACIE and GAWU, workers ideology and strategy, the role of shop stewards, capitalism, collective labour agreements, online history of Guyana, gender and trade union work, structure of Guyanese economy, HIV/AIDS in the workplace, and globalisation and its impact on workers.
GAWU disclosed a session on the situation and outlook of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco), is also part of the agenda.
A representative of the Corporation will use the opportunity to identify Guysuco’s main challenges and the steps that are taken to once again make the industry a viable business.
Six groups of participants have been identified and they are expected to work as a team through two sets of sessions (“A” and “B”) which would be for one week.
A group of participants of Session A will attend classes again as participants of Session B, allowing an interval of three (3) months.
The Project which has received the support of the British Trade Union Congress and the IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association) Global Sugar Programme is as a result of ongoing sugar networking activities, which in the past six years helped resume direct solidarity links between the GMB on one hand and the GAWU and the NAACIE on the other.
The GMB organises workers at the Tate & Lyle refinery in London, where Guyana’s sugar which is exported to Europe is refined.