[www.inewsguyana.com] – A group of approximately 40 persons marched in solidarity with the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) on Friday (December 20) through the streets of Georgetown, against government’s five percent wage increase.
The protest commenced at the GPSU’s headquarters on Shiv Chanderpaul Drive and was led by President of the GPSU, Patrick Yarde. Yarde said that the Police only granted permission for the protest on Thursday, thus there was not enough time for adequate preparations.
“We have had many calls from members indicating their willingness to be a part of this exercise and their solidarity and their preparedness to join us in the future,” Yarde said in response to the poor turnout.
Prior to taking the streets, Yarde told the small gathering that the government is exercising “executive lawlessness.”
“There have been no respect for the workers’ rights from a regime that claims working class credential.”
The union and workers have been protesting for weeks now against the meager increase and has demanded between a 15% – 25% increase. However, these protests and demonstrations have not caused the Government to change its proposal.
The government maintains that it can only afford a five percent and has since made payouts in that regard. Opposition Political Leaders have since said that monies were approved in the National 2013 Budget for the Revision of Wages and Salaries, insisting that the increases should be at least 15% and called on the government to provide explanations in this regard.
Calls were also made for the Government to re-engage the union in the bargaining and negotiation process all of which is yet to be done.