PNCR MAY DAY MESSAGE 2011 - Friday 29 April 2011

On this anniversary of Worker’s Day in Guyana and in many other countries around the world, the People’s National Congress Reform takes this opportunity to salute working people everywhere as well as their organisations in the achievement of whatever gains they may have made during the past year.

A survey of the international labour scene points to increasing hostility by employers, both state and non-state towards organised labour with some anti-working class elements peddling the idea that trade unions have outlived their usefulness. This is a dangerous trend and must be resisted by workers and their unions by whatever means necessary.

In the circumstances, therefore, the PNCR urges the Trade Union movement in Guyana and the workers it represents to speak out boldly on this occasion for better wages and some form of cost of living allowance to cushion the effects of the rising cost of living. The Trade Union movement must also demand that the workers be empowered to cope with the ongoing global food crisis which has been recognised by the major international organisations, including the United Nations and which has already sparked riots in many countries.

Any action contemplated by the unions in Guyana must be premised on the need for Trade Union unity. Workers must, therefore, insist that the extended fracture in the Trade Union movement is not to their benefit, but rather, creates the conditions for the PPP/C Administration to keep Trade Unions weak, while carrying out an assault on them in the form of:

(i) Withdrawal of the subvention of the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC).

(ii) Removal of the annual Parliamentary approved subvention for the Critchlow Labour College.

(iii) Arbitrarily, imposed salary increases well below the inflation rate.

(iv) Passing legislation designed to intimidate members of the labour movement and to undermine the internationally recognised trade union body, the GTUC, and have it replaced by the so-called Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUG).

(v) Encouraging a policy of trade unions aligned to the PPP to poach on the preserve of more independent unions in order to marginalize and destroy them.

On this occasion therefore the PNCR recognizes the critical role that Trade Unions have played in the political, economic and social development of the country and asserts that such a role can only continue if the Trade Union Movement as a whole remains united and protect the interests of the workers of this country. The PRemove filearty also admonishes the trade union movement to recognize that the current era demands that Trade Unions must make necessary adjustments to cope with the existing and emerging challenges, so that they can survive and remain relevant.

Long Live Workers Solidarity!

Happy May Day to all Workers!