… FITUG incensed
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), in a release yesterday stated that as a matter of priority on a previously-arranged agenda, the body has recorded its extreme outrage at GuySuCo’s letter dated December 16, 2010 informing the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), that the Corporation is “considering to terminate the ‘Recognition and the Avoidance and Settlement of Disputes’ agreement dated 27th February, 1976 that currently subsists between your Union and the Corporation.”
FITUG stated that the “outrageous threat to a union, which battled for recognition upon the blood, sweat and tears and death of (its) members for almost 30 years (1948 – 1976) under autocratic regimes, reeks of “massa-day” disrespect for, not merely GAWU, but the entire working-class labour movement of this country.”
The body noted that more than a year ago, when the foreign-owned Russian bauxite conglomerate, RUSAL, threatened to de-recognise the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) and subsequently, unilaterally did so, FITUG swiftly denounced that action as vehemently anti-working class and in contradiction of laid-down procedures and Guyana’s industrial employer-worker culture.
“Today, flying in the face of working-class history and contributions, the economic survival of Guyana, a completely state-owned corporation dares to attempt to ignite one of the most serious industrial confrontations in recent labour movement history.”
FITUG said that it unreservedly supports its major affiliate, GAWU, in light of this provocation. “Does GuySuCo really believe that any right thinking sugar-worker-member of GAWU would allow its union to be crushed by this now heartless employer?
“FITUG wishes to note that trade unions do address unresolved grievances and GAWU would not shirk its responsibility and duty to its members as it continues its struggle in the ensuing weeks.”
The entity also chided GuySuCo for its actions given the fact that there have been no wage increases at a time of year when such is expected.
“In this, a traditional season of peace and goodwill, when sugar workers are told that they have no wage increases to get, GuySuCo dares to add heartless insult to mindless injury already inflicted on a major segment of the nation’s workforce.”
FITUG cannot believe that the Corporation wishes to ignite more conflict at this time, according to the statement.
“Who are the real authors of this “consideration” to terminate the 34-year old hard won recognition of the GAWU – the largest union in the Caribbean?”
Preferring to wait and discover whether this threat is someone’s mistake or prank, FITUG said that it is calling on GuySuCo to assess the consequences of its notification to GAWU, the industry and the nation in the interest of long term industrial peace.”
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