Long-serving Trade Unionist, Kenneth Joseph, passed away on Thursday at
the age of 65.
He was the General-Secretary of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE).
Yesterday, the the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) expressed its sadness to learn of the passing of their trade union colleague and long-standing friend.
GAWU noted that Joseph served the workers whom he represented with distinction and with great commitment. At the same time, he was a significant figure in the Trade Union movement.
“GAWU’s interaction with Comrade Joseph went back many years. Following stints in the Guyana Police Force and the Linden Mining Company (LINMINE), he became an employee of Albion Estate in the mechanical tillage section and soon after he was elected as a shop steward of GAWU, a position he was elected to year after year.
“His proficiency in his job was recognized by the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo) and he was promoted to the supervisory level which ended his membership in GAWU. He then became an active member of
The union stated that through Joseph’s association with NAACIE, he quickly rose through the ranks and served in the Union’s Executive Committee. It was in that sister Union, that Joseph rose to the high post of General President.
“During his last stint in NAACIE as General Secretary, the long-standing bonds between GAWU and NAACIE became stronger. Our Union has shared many common platforms with him and, by extension, NAACIE as our Unions together sought to protect, defend and advance particularly the cause of the workers of the sugar industry and workers generally.”
GAWU recognised Joseph as a staunch trade unionist who never failed to take account of the plight of the working-people of Guyana. It recalled his readiness whenever workers’ rights were disrespected and trampled upon, to be there in the midst of the struggles in their defence.
The Union said that Joseph’s last appearance with GAWU was on December 31, 2016.
At this time, the GAWU extends its sincerest condolences to Cde. Joseph’s wife, children, relatives and friends. GAWU extends also its deepest sympathies to NAACIE which has lost a fine leader, a stalwart and a true champion of the workers.”
NAACIE also issued a statement yesterday. The statement read:
“Brother Joseph was born on June 25, 1951 at the Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara to Una and Cyril Joseph. He was married to Mrs. Waveney Joseph and was the father of six children and seventeen grandchildren.
Brother Joseph dedicated most of his life for the upliftment of workers’ rights, strength and unity, he represented them not only in Guyana but in other Countries namely Antigua, Barbados, England, Geneva, Brazil, Trinidad, Venezuela, Jamaica, just a few to mention.
He was also the General Secretary of Federation of Independent Trade Union of Guyana (FITUG). He was recognized and awarded the Arrow of Achievement medal by the Government of Guyana.
Brother Joseph served the Union, its members and workers with distinction locally and overseas at Seminars and Conferences at the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), IUF, UNI. He was well respected and loved by all.
The Executives, Members (Guysuco, Guyana Power & Light, BOSAI, NFMU and CCI) and Staff of NAACIE extends its heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Joseph, the children, and other family and friends and colleagues.
Brother Joseph will be dearly missed.”
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