In light of claims being made that persons are turned away from the Social Protection Ministry when they attempt to make complaints against their employers who fail to meet their legal obligations, the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has issued a call for the re-establishment of the Labour Ministry so that issues relating to labour will get the desired attention.
In a statement issued on Monday, the umbrella union said it continues to receive complaints from workers that they are being turned away from the Social Protection Ministry when they seek to lodge complaints against employers. The process in industrial relations on matters of such nature is not to turn away complainants but to activate a process to investigate and resolve the complaint.
According to the union, it is issuing a call to government to ensure that workers’ concerns are addressed as they play a vital role in the development of the country’s economy.
“This Government is put on notice that it has to be mindful of Labour’s role and importance in any developmental agenda. It is of concern to the Labour Movement that workers continue to be treated as incidental to production and productivity, even though neither can be achieved without their input,” the body iterated.
As such the union is calling for the re-establishment of the Labour Ministry that will be responsible for addressing and resolving worker’s concerns.
“GTUC once again is nudging the Government to establish a Ministry of Labour that will be dictated to address labour and its attendant issues. During the 6-months Minister Broomes held the portfolio of Labour responsibilities; strident efforts were taken to uphold time-honoured principles, conventions and laws in the interest of all, such as workers, employers and government. This has been an approach consistent with good governance and ensuring stable industrial relations climate. Efforts must be made to restore and build on good practices,” the union emphasised.
Efforts to contact Minister within the Social Protection Ministry Keith Scott, who has responsibilities for labour, proved futile.