…to meet with Jagdeo on human rights issues
Chief spokesperson for the International Labour Organization, Sir Roy Trotman, yesterday said that he would be making a move to have an audience with Head of State Bharrat Jagdeo over the perceived violation of human and trade union rights in Guyana.
Sir Roy, who came to Guyana for the recently held Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s Conference made the comments in light of the arrest of the General Secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress Norris Witter, and reprieved treason accused Mark Benschop during a peaceful picketing exercise on Wednesday.
Sir Roy stated that Guyana is a signatory to the ILO Convention and he has learnt that the pickets were seeking to have the government commit to its’ obligation and permit collective bargaining, social dialogue and freedom of association among others.
He noted that the government may not have to accept the positions of unions but it is the constitutional right of the latter to voice their concerns.
Sir Roy emphasised that given the incarceration of the two union leaders and a supporter during a peaceful picket he was afraid that these rights were being violated and it was of grave concern to the ILO. He noted that if the government persists in the same vein, then the ILO would have to step in.
As it relates to the conditions at the Brickdam Police Station lock-ups, Sir Roy stated that he was horrified to learn about the conditions under which detainees are incarcerated.
The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that deals with labour issues.
Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
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