I REFER to a letter purportedly written by Leslie Gonsalves, President, Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GBGWU) in the Guyana Chronicle page seven, dated June 13, 2019. I would like to make it clear that the academic, administrative and ancillary staff of the Critchlow Labour College (CLC) are not employed by the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), but through the college’s Board of Directors (that is how it ought to be) in which the GTUC has the majority representation.
I had stated that the University of Guyana unions, the United Minibus Union (UMU) and the Guyana Market Vendors Union (GMVU) (informal/non-traditional) are catered for under the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Recommendation 202, so that there was no need for me to make excuses to anyone for not providing a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA).
At previous GTUC General Council meetings, I was not afraid to voice my concern as it relates to seeing GTUC missives in the newspapers signed by the general secretary that did not have the fiat of the executives and deemed same to be in his personal capacity.
My letter to the media was in my personal capacity and that does not take away the fact that I am a vice-president of the GTUC. I never knew it was the GBGWU’s remit to call on me to provide a CLA — quite strange.
It is therefore obvious that my personal and dear friend Leslie Gonsalves did not read my missive, but is just the messenger. If he did, I would not be surprised by his letter; in fact, I would have been disappointed if he did not take that stance, as it has caused me to have greater respect for Bro. Gonsalves because he is displaying a quality that is so lacking in the trade union movement and some unions, that is, unshakeable loyalty to the clan.
I am not prepared to be sucked into any protracted banter in the newspaper and I hope that the GTUC’s hierarchy can do some introspection and change course to develop the organisation, inclusive of its affiliates, and the workers that we are supposed to be representing.