Workers expectations frustrated since 1992– GPSU
Stabroek News news item. Thursday 1 May 2008
The GPSU says workers’ reasonable expectations for improvements in their quality of life have been frustrated, if not shattered, and it hopes that a united Trade Union Movement can face these adversities.
Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) President Patrick Yarde made these statements in his Labour Day message.
In a press release, Yarde said increasingly “persons are driven into poverty and penury with depressing numbers experiencing deterioration in health, and are victims of criminal conduct.”
He said despair pervades the society to such an extent that there are significant incidents of suicide among the populace.
Also, “Hard-won labour rights achieved through great sacrifice, determination and unselfish effort by generations of workers are eroded including, but not limited to, matters of security of tenure, due process and entitlements to earned benefits,” he said.
Yarde also said that “Since 1992, there has been an ongoing struggle to protect members from arbitrary dismissals and acts of discrimination and victimization.” He said this has been happening at the Customs and Trade Administration – Guyana Revenue Authority, where persons employed in the public service are intimidated, discouraged from joining the union and suffer other forms of victimization.
Yarde said the GPSU hopes that by next May Day there would be a united labour movement that would inure not only to the benefit of workers but the entire country.
He charged that sections of the movement were in “collusion with the government in the promotion of their selfish desires and interests, and their desertion of the working class in their struggle to improve, preserve and safeguard their rights”.
“Our experiences have shown that we have the potential, and our representation could be successful, where members of the [GPSU] are united in the face of adversity.”
Yarde also criticized the courts. “The courts, in particular, have proved innocuous in the protection of the fundamental rights of workers even in the face of open violation of such rights by public agencies”.