The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) recognized that President David Granger in his remarks to an activity he hosted in honour of the GPSU’s 95th Anniversary is quoted by Demerara Waves to have said, “We need to establish ourselves some form of social compact…we have to work together…we are all partners in administering and running Guyana”.
Later in the news story, the President reportedly said ”…the Government and the Unions are partners with a common objective; not competitors of rivals”.
The President’s remarks, on the surface, seem reasonable. Indeed, all the stakeholders have a vested interest in our country’s progress and development and undoubtedly need to have a place at the decision-making table.
On that score, we know that the notion of a Social Compact, which is not by any means new to Guyana, seeks to encapsulate such an arrangement.
We recall, over the years, the issue has reared its head on several occasions. We are also aware that a Social Compact has been negotiated in Barbados involving the tripartite partners – the Government, the Workers Movement, and the Business Sector – since the 1990s.
At the same time, we are not unaware of the view that the fruits of progress have not flowed equitably, especially from the workers point-of-view.
That being said, this does not mean we should throw cold water on the initiative. But we recognise too that for there to be any real movement on this front, foremost there must be equity among the partners.
On this score, we have seen the President ignoring the request of the trade unions to meet him on several matters of concern. Then, we cannot forget that the Government has, seemingly, closed its mind to the sustained calls for the establishment of a Labour Ministry.
Another important element to the realization of a ‘Social Compact’ is the fulfillment of commitments. This is an area which the Government has fallen woefully short on. For instance, the promise of Collective Bargaining remains unfulfilled. The commitment to safeguarding the sugar industry was thrown under the bus. And, the undertaking of giving us all a ‘Good Life’ has so far proven itself to be elusive. Quite clearly, the Government has to do a lot on this front if it is to really be serious in its utterances.
Nevertheless, the FITUG does believe it is not wise to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but at the same time recognizes the difficulty of Unions to engage in meaningful discussions, if indeed the President is serious, given the actions of the Government.
We believe that there is a great need to find common ground and workable solutions to the pressing matters that affect all Guyanese, but the Government must demonstrate its sincerity to listen and to act in a fair and equitable manner and with the working-people’s interests uppermost in its mind.
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG)
Feb 17, 2020Two months after she snatched gold at the Caribbean Championships in Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean champion junior boxer, Alesha Jackman, will have her second overseas engagement. This weekend, the...
The incident described below is the kind of thing the media should report on. But there are so many open secrets in politics... more
Guyanese will have to settle for a salt and rice dinner while the oil companies enjoy a four-course meal, compliments of... more
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]