The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG), on Monday, made a pitch to the parliamentary opposition to put their political differences aside and return the Amaila Falls Hydro Power legislation to the house and support it.
In a statement FITUG said as the country’s premier representative of Guyana’s working-class labour, it is concerned that its approximate 35, 000 members will be negatively impacted by the failure of the Parliament, specifically the joint Opposition, to pass nessacary legislation that will see the Amaila Hydro Fall Power Project become a reality.
“Our members are employees in the public and private sectors, who cannot afford to have their salaries and wages consumed by electricity costs that will soon increase if this project does not bear fruit. The FITUG bemoans the dreaded potential of higher electricity rates for the present and future generations, loss of employment from new investments and the untrustworthiness Guyana would now be characterized by, due to the Opposition’s parliamentary selfishness” the union umbrella body said.
It appealed to the joint Opposition to put the working class citizens of Guyana first as Parliament meets over the coming days to debate issues of national importance including the retabling of the Hydro Electric Power (Amendment Bill 2013) and the Guarantee of Loans (Public Corporations and Companies) Act.
“Every stakeholder, including the political parties, the private sector, local and foreign investors and the humble householder-consumer, accept that there is an overdue need for cheaper, renewable energy. FITUG is also concerned that jobs for our members will be lost if the international donor and investor communities take a cue from the Opposition’s disapproval and not risk any investment or contribution in the future. In addition, hopes for large local scale manufacturing will be dashed or put on hold as a result of the Opposition’s selfish stances.
“FITUG is reminded that the dream of renewable hydro power from our blessed water resources has been around long before the advent of the PPP/C administration of 1992 and onwards. FITUG is also aware of government’s openness with the Opposition over the past weeks when both foreign and local stakeholders briefed the Opposition and made documents readily available,” it said.
The union asked, “How will the Opposition explain their rejection of these needed pieces of legislation when millions are being spent on the access roads to the proposed facility?”
FITUG said it hopes the Opposition will engage in introspection since their own constituents, who also feel the brunt of high electricity costs, would appeal to their better judgment by reminders of just why they are in the Honourable House in the first place.
“FITUG reminds all concerned that our very own sources of cheaper renewable energy are natural repositories of a guaranteed future of prosperity. Surely our economic sovereignty is way above partisan politics”it said.