Reference is made to your coverage re: “GTUC is no longer the voice of workers-PPP” (March 25, 2014). The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is not obliged to defend its positions to statements made by Minister Clement Rohee at the PPP’s 24th March press conference, but this opportunity is taken to remind him that as long as politics continues to impact the lives, including the livelihood and quality of life of Guyanese, then there will be a role for the GTUC. And if politics means that the government continues to spend taxpayers’ money, then the GTUC will be involved. Similarly the GTUC will be involved as long as the workers of Guyana (past, present and potential) are subjected to political dictates. The GTUC will also remain steadfast in former President Bharrat Jagdeo’s affairs for as long as he continues to spend taxpayers’ money, misuse public property, misrepresent issues of governance concerning Guyanese and his role.
The Minister cannot even earn himself a good name, yet he is seeking to appoint himself guardian of the GTUC’s good name. Crime is on the increase; police, prison and fire service officers are poorly paid and working under deplorable conditions, and prisoners are housed in conditions that defy all human rights regulations, while the Minister looks the other way. Minister Rohee is advised that the time spent representing the former president and fake polls may well be spent on reviewing the quality of services provided by his Ministry to the GPF, narco-trafficking, FIU, torture, etc. This Minister is reminded that he has no credibility in the eyes of the thinking public and is in no position to speak to the goodness of anything beyond the benefits he receives from being in good favour and part and parcel of a corrupt regime.
The GTUC is in no way enamoured by Rohee’s recognition and expressed concern for the organisation’s good name. As the voice of Labour and as a social partner, GTUC remains concerned of the decay in the quality of Guyanese governance, the corruption and mismanagement of our national resources, the sudden conspicuous enrichment of Ministers and public officials, who prior to entering public office, were living marginally. The federation is concerned about the marginalisation of peoples and sectors in society, the erosion of laws and the rule of the lawless as much as we are concerned about the continued violation of our Constitution and disrespect for the role and function of the National Assembly. Mr. Rohee can therefore rest assured that he and his government colleagues will continue to be watched and commented on by the GTUC.
GTUC notes the Minister’s reference that “The PPP wishes to alert Guyanese of ….Lewis’ political extremism, which has become a danger to the maintenance of peace and good order.” These scaremongering tactics and labeling are perceived as subliminal conditioning of the nation that the General Secretary (GS) poses a national danger and should be dealt with in a particular way. GTUC will not be cowered by Mr. Rohee or the PPP even though this conditioning is a threat to the personal safety and well-being of anybody who dares to hold this government accountable. It is a threat to the democratic right of the GS/GTUC to expressions of concern over the PPP mismanagement, corruption and evil ways. This strategy of maligning the GS with no good cause speaks to state terroristic behaviour of driving fear into dissenters. It speaks to preparation of the nation for the onslaught of state or state sponsored violence (verbal and / or physical) against the GS who is an outspoken critic and a dissenter to the PPP dictatorship.
GTUC takes this opportunity to remind this nation that the PPP government was elected and can be rejected. Their non-performance and poor performance have left this nation in the cesspits of corruption. It has left us with a former President whose benefits is a legal rape of the State’s coffers and has the potential for continued multiple State rape as others join the prestigious gang of past presidents. There is no end to these violations by government unless the people of Guyana say enough is enough and vote them out when the opportunity presents. No people deserve to die under the bed of a hospital because there is no bed while a former president is allowed to charter a Lear jet to go all the way to Florida for ‘belly wuk’ and dengue fever and becomes angry when he is asked to account for spending the workers’ money.
No people deserve a national newspaper where the President is only concerned about its management when it ignores him in a poll. No people deserve a government that invokes fake polls to skew reality in their favour and a President who only worries in his self-interest. No people deserve a government that has sugar workers in poverty and ignorance, that is bankrupt of ideas to salvage the sugar industry and save the jobs of sugar workers, that allows RusAl, a foreign owned company, to violate the rights of bauxite workers, that disrespect the right to collective bargaining in the Public Sector, etc, etc.
Call it ‘private political outburst’ or by any other name, the GTUC will continue to speak out in the voice of its General Secretary, President or any other authorised officer in the interest of all Labour. Hopefully this is simple enough for Mr. Rohee to comprehend.
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