[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Labour yesterday took steps to ease the plight of the vendors affected by the closure of the Bourda and Stabroek Markets.
An extraordinary meeting was held last evening between officials of the Mayor and City Council and the Ministry of Labour and a decision was taken to effect the wages and salary increase for the striking workers, hence the markets will be opened today as usual.
Early in the week, the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) withdrew the services of its members because the Mayor and Councillors of Georgetown had refused to accept the recommendations of the council’s finance personnel and training committees, with respect to improved benefits and working conditions for the union’s workers. This was under a collective bargaining agreement that the union had accepted.
Efforts by Town Clerk (ag) Carol Sooba to address the issue saw a “round robin” attempt being made to the council to approve the City Council workers’ benefits. Five councillors signed on to the agreement, but several others, including the Deputy Mayor, Patricia Chase Green refused or otherwise abstained.
However, controversies abound because of alleged misrepresentation and discrepancies on the agreed amount in terms of the increases for union workers.
Prior to last evening’s meeting, Minister of Labour, Dr. Nanda Gopaul and Local Government Minister, Norman Whittaker met with vendors of the Stabroek and the Bourda Markets and also with the Town Clerk and sought to bring resolution to the impasse.
The Chief Labour Officer also engaged the Union and the Council on the issue. Dr. Gopaul, shed light on the issue of the ‘blame game’ and ‘rights of the workers.’ He emphatically declared that these workers should not have been treated with such gross negligence. [Extracted and modified from GINA]