The Alliance For Change yesterday called for the immediate reinstatement of the dismissed workers of the Guyana Bauxite Mining Company, the resumption of the Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) and for the traditional Union representing the workers to be recognised.
This was voiced yesterday at the party’s press briefing where, Raphael Trotman, head of the AFC, was of the opinion that the government is working against the bauxite workers.
Trotman told the media that the party had been “reliably informed” that the ruling administration namely the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has “surreptitiously” arranged for the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) to be replaced as the representative union for the workers at Aroaima.
“The device to be used for this is apparently a contrived poll to be done for union recognition.”
The AFC leader disclosed that they had made contact with the foreign bauxite mining agency and had requested “by way of letter dated November 30, to appreciate the hardship that its decision creates, and to resume operations by recognising the CLA.”
The opposition party calls for the action to take effect by this weekend or early next week “at the latest we have every reason to believe that the request will be honoured,” said Trotman.
The AFC leader also appealed to the RUSAL Company “not to be a party to this dishonesty.”
They also encouraged the GB&GWU and the workers “to hold firm and fast to their principles and to be on guard for the thief that plans to at them come at night.”
The party also reached out to the Ministry of Labour, saying that they should “not to interfere or allow its agencies to be used for illegal and improper purposes.”
It was pointed out that the recent impasse between RUSAL and its workers “is a violation of two fundamental motivating principles that underpin national development and cohesion.”
They also found it ironic that the PPP Government had chosen to side with a corporation, “which had not been kind to our workers and the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union.”
The AFC also believes that RUSAL has acted in breach of Guyana’s law, “by derecognising the labour union.”
The opposition party further believes that there are still means by which the interests of the workers can be enhanced “we are of the view that all avenues have not been exhausted that can bring about immediate improvements in the welfare of workers.”
Chief Executive Officer of the party, Peter Ramsaroop, who was also on hand, said that the actions by RUSAL and the PPP Government are inconsistent with two of the 14 motivating economic principles which the AFC has for developing Guyana in one generation in the post 2011 era.
According to Ramsaroop, the party is seeking to promote a caring relationship, shared responsibility, and joint social purpose between labour (and their unions) and the essential capitalist or investor class.
“We believe that labour and capitalist investors, in real production rather than finance speculators, must be the primary focus of the joint social purpose and partnership.”
He stated that the AFC’s economic policies are aimed at enhancing the productivity of our people, firms and industries.
“We realise that the only way to increase the wage and hence welfare of Guyanese in the long-term is through the enhanced productivity of labour and capital.”
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