THE untimely death of Kenneth Joseph is a severe blow to the trades’ union movement.
He was a gentleman noted for his calm composure and winning smile, yet strong on conviction amongst labour leaders who are characteristically combative.
I have known Kenneth for many years when he worked at the Albion Estate and became simultaneously an outspoken neighbourhood councillor in Berbice.
When he was elected NAACIE’s President and relocated to Georgetown, we would meet frequently. Though he lived in modest condition, he was not daunted in his efforts to represent his members on the sugar estates.
Joseph was elected President of FITUG at a time when the mainstream trade union movement had lost its militancy in defending the working people, and when it had become apparent that the movement was irreconcilably divided. But it was under his leadership that FITUG started to reconcile with the TUC.
Joseph remained true to his conviction to the end, and fought every fight he could for workers. For his consistent and principled devotion to the workers’ cause, he will be forever remembered.
The Government of Guyana expresses profound sympathy to his wife and family, and extends condolences to members of NAACIE and FITUG.
Prime Minister, First Vice-President, Guyana