Veteran Trade Unionist and General Secretary of the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), Kenneth Joseph, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on Thursday, some three weeks after suffering a stroke.
Joseph’s death was confirmed by his wife, who said that he had suffered a stroke on February 1. He was 66 years old.
President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) Komal Chand, said he received news of Joseph’s death at around midday on Thursday. He said he is saddened to hear of his passing, as he was still young and had a lot to contribute to the workers.
According to Chand, the two unions have worked closely together over the years, championing the cause of workers.
“He was cooperative and concerned about workers’ welfare and was not afraid to share solidarity. Even when we got disagreements, he opened himself to criticisms.”
Chand said while he was aware Joseph was sick, he did not expect him to die. “He still had a lot to offer, he was still young. I will miss him and a lot of people will be surprised and shocked at his passing,” Chand told this publication.
Joseph, who has been at the forefront with GAWU, fighting for the rights of workers, was only late last year representing workers of the Guyana Power and Light, who were clamouring for improved wages and salaries and working conditions.
Prior to that, he had also been in solidarity with sugar workers, especially those attached to the Wales Sugar Estate.