Letter: We have a responsibility to protect, advance the cause of workers

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Dear Editor,

Our Union was not surprised to read the comments of GuySuCo’s Senior Communications Officer, Ms Audreyanna Thomas which were contained in an article titled “Despite low attendance, GuySuCo says on target for second crop” that appeared in the November 13, 2017 Stabroek News. The GuySuCo officer is quoted to have said that our Union is seeking to “frustrate the company”.

For some weeks now, our Union has been pointing out that the Corporation had begun to set the stage to lay blame at the workers and the GAWU for their inability to achieve their target. This strategy we opined was a sordid attempt to give the Corporation’s hierarchy cover for what will be the poorest production since 1990.

On this matter of workers protest, Ms Thomas should edify us how many of the workers actions were as a result of price disputes or resulted from unilateral changes to long-standing work practices. Most, if not all, of the work stoppages, could be grouped into the two (2) aforementioned categories. The fact remains, as clearly evidenced by Ms Thomas’ comments, that the Corporation is seeking to ride roughshod over the workers by disregarding their interests, concerns and apprehensions. From GuySuCo’s recently admitted perspective, it seems, the workers must meekly stand in silence as their rights, benefits and conditions are unconscionably taken away.

We wish to advise Ms Thomas, once again, and the GuySuCo top brass, that our Union has no intention of frustrating the Corporation’s objectives but, at the same time, we have a responsibility to protect and advance the cause of the workers. We wish to advise that we will not shirk from that responsibility and no amount of ‘propaganda’ concoctions will force or cause us to change our position.

In closing, we were indeed heartened to learn from Ms Thomas that the company would achieve its set target. Is it the 198,000 tonne target or the 174,000 tonne target or the more recent 162,000 tonne target?

Yours faithfully,
Seepaul Narine
General Secretary
GAWU

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