Jan 29, 2016 News
“The tenets of successful negotiation do not encompass arrogance and a test of strength but rather mutual
respect, compromise and a willingness to cooperate and co-exist.”
This was the appeal made by recently appointed Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott, when he met with several trade unions.
The meeting was the fulfillment of a promise the Minister made to engage all trade unions. He was able to meet all but two unions during the past few weeks.
The engagement saw the Minister being able to interact with the two umbrella bodies – the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) – and their affiliates as well as those unions who see themselves as non- aligned.
Minister Scott, who is no stranger to the trade union fraternity and trade unionism, expressed his appreciation for the dynamism of the discipline as well as the challenges to the field. The Minister emphasized the need for unions to embrace such value as honesty, integrity and accountability which are some of the virtues which characterize the mark and legacy of the late great Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow.
In essence, he advocated good governance of all trade unions.
The Minister reminded the unions of the need to foster and maintain an investor-friendly climate in which there is little or no room for strikes and arbitration as a means of selling industrial differences.
The engagement between the Minister and the trade unions was not intended to be a forum to address the routine concerns of the unions because an opportunity for that purpose would be afforded each union in the near future.
A main thrust of the Minister’s submission to the unions was his mission for a unified May Day Celebration this year. He underscored that much too long the movement has been fractured and the time for unification is long overdue.
The Minister noted that while that may be an ideal thing to strive for in the long run, he said that the main focus this year is a single rally with the features of a Family Reunion.
In making an appeal, Scott said, “Let there be one March, One Platform, One Celebration that give true meaning to the chorus of the international song which says for the union makes us strong.”
Rhetorically, he asked, “How can we on Labour Day sing solidarity forever” and “the union makes us strong when we are divided?”
Minister Scott therefore stressed that history has presented the trade unions with a euphoria which should be taken advantage of and show case to the world at the beginning of the month of our Golden Jubilee that there can be unity in the movement.
By the end of the meeting the unions were overwhelmingly in support of Minister’s Scott vision for a One May Day Rally and pledge to work towards its realization.
Against that background he extended a written invitation to all trade unions to attend a meeting on February 2, 2016, with the sole purpose of establishing a committee for the management of the one rally.
Meanwhile, Minister Scott is gearing to meet another group of stakeholders in the form of the employers and their umbrella bodies.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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