FITUG joins call for passage of AML/CFT Bill
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THE Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has called for political parties represented in the National Assembly to, swiftly and urgently, pass the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering of the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill.The grouping, which represents thousands of workers in major sectors of the local economy, declared that the show of partisan politics demonstrated in the November vote resulting in defeat of the Bill must not be repeated.
In a statement, FITUG said: “Given the announcement by Government, that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has facilitated more time for the National Assembly to pass this important legislation, the partisan politics exhibited on November 7, 2013, which resulted in the defeat of the original Amendment Bill and the subsequent blacklisting of Guyana by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF), need not be repeated again at this critical juncture in Guyana’s history.”
FITUG pointed out that its members, some of whom are among the recipients of remittances from abroad, will, undoubtedly, be affected.
It said: “We understand that money transfers may take longer and fees for such transactions will increase as well.
“Also, the threat of international financial institutions ceasing to conduct business in our country will restrict the conduct of transactions.
“Such an occurrence will require persons having to travel further or pay exorbitant fees in order to conduct money transfers or to receive remittances.”
These impediments
FITUG emphasised that these impediments are not easily overcome by persons with limited resources.
It continued: “Further sanctions, we are told, will cause citizens being required to complete additional, unnecessary and lengthy paperwork in order to execute and/or complete transactions.
“Importantly, the jobs of FITUG members could be jeopardised if businesses are unable to secure imported raw materials and inputs to facilitate operations within an acceptable time frame.
“If businesses close their doors, the social impact will be grave as jobs could be lost,” FITUG warned.
It said the housing industry, which is largely supported by the working class and as a creator of thousands of indirect jobs, ranging from truckers to labourers to carpenters, to even food vendors who prepare food at various construction sites, was cited as one area that will suffer if Guyana fails to meet the February 28 deadline.
“At this point in our nation’s history, we join the chorus of concerned stakeholders to appeal to our Parliamentary representatives, and more so, the members of the Special Select Committee charged with reviewing the Amendment Bill, to work in the interest of the workers of Guyana.
“Further sanctions at this time could serve to reverse the many gains made by the working class over the years, the threat of job losses cannot be underscored, our workers deserve, among other things, a decent standard of living.”
FITUG was established in 1988 and resuscitated in 2005. Currently, the organisation has four affiliates, the Guyana Labour Union (GLU), the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) and the Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU).
Written By Vanessa Narine

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