GOGEC tells GAWU to reconsider partnership with foreign union, says local trade unions have abundant experience

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Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) President Manniram Prashad has expressed concern over the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) in Trinidad and Tobago.

The body said that it has always advocated for Guyanese workers doing the same job as expatriates to be paid similar wages.

“We respect good industrial relations and is in the forefront to ensure that we have a healthy industrial climate. It is unfortunate that GAWU feels that foreign intervention is needed to represent oil and gas workers who they are attempting to get unionised,” Prashad said.

He noted that GOGEC was of the view that” we have good industrial practices in the oil and gas sector, in which the Ministry of Labour has been monitoring closely and quite effectively”.

In Trinidad and Tobago, he said, Petrotrin experienced a series of strikes, protest actions, and marches. “Petrotrin was forced to close in 2018. The OWTU lost a significant amount of its membership. We have a relative stable industrial climate in the oil and gas sector in Guyana and we want it to remain that way. GOGEC is urging GAWU to reconsider its decision to bring in a foreign union and to seek help from other trade unions and experienced trade unionist in Guyana in which there is an abundance,” Prashad said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, GAWU signed a MoU with OWTU to enable what it said would be better standards of working in the local oil sector.