The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has lashed out at the Guyana Chronicle newspaper for its publication of an article on January 6, 2016 under the headline ‘GAWU pocketing millions to train sugar workers’.
GAWU, on Monday, declared the article to be “misleading” and an attempt to “hoodwink and misguide” the newspaper’s readership as well as the public at large.
“The assertion that the Union received some $18M from GuySuCo for training of sugar workers at the GAWU Labour College between 2011 and August, 2015 is completely and utterly fallacious. The sum referred to, if correct, represent wages paid to employees who were granted paid-release to attend Union-sponsored courses. This practice has been in existence for many decades now and is enshrined in the Collective Labour Agreement between the Union and the Corporation,” GAWU said in a media release.
It contended that the Chronicle article in question also asserts that the College’s curriculum has no bearing on the sugar industry, which is furthest from the truth.
According to GAWU, it should be noted that the paid-release of workers to attend Union-sponsored courses, or other courses, is not peculiar to the sugar industry.
In fact it is an activity that is said to be “embraced by all trade unions and entities whether publicly or privately owned” and has been an invaluable practice that sustains healthy industrial relations in society.
“The Chronicle story is not only a clear distortion of what is conveyed in the Commission of Inquiry Report but represents the latest attack on the right of sugar workers to benefit from Trade Union education and training. The story cannot be delinked from the other misinformation and other assaults which have been perpetuated in recent times against the workers and their primary organisations,” the Union posited.