GAWU Lauds Government for Strides but calls for improvement in the National Minimum Wage in Independence Message

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Please read the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union’s (GAWU) 56th Independence Day message:

The attainment of political independence represented the culmination of years of struggles of our people to extract themselves from the yoke of colonialism. Indeed, it was widely felt that the chains of the colonial master served as a major restraint eroding fundamental freedoms and our ability to chart our own destiny.
In the fifty-six (56) years of independence, we believe we have come a long way and scored several impressive gains. Those years though have not been without challenge.
In the period, we faced up and overcame natural disasters, economic turmoil, divisiveness, and undemocratic rule. It is a testimony to our people and nation that we have come so far despite the adversities in our way. It also is a fitting tribute to those who led and participated in the independence struggle that gave way to independent Guyana.
It is against that background that the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) extends to all Guyanese best wishes on the occasion of Independence Day 2022.
As we observe yet another anniversary of the milestone achievement, we of the GAWU, as a patriotic organisation, take pride in our successes as we urge that our setbacks serve as abiding lessons in charting the future.
As we look towards the horizon on this Independence Day, we recognize that the country, like no other period in its history, is on the cusp of massive advancement.
Today, our natural wealth which belongs to us all is yielding significant sums which are being channelled into all-round development which is intended to improve the lives of all Guyanese.
Today, as we celebrate our freedom to chart our course, we cannot ignore lingering concerns. Currently, we recognize challenges to our people’s well-being and welfare remain ever-present. Rising living costs remain a foremost concern of our working people and their families.
We recognize the effort of the Government to offer relief. This is laudable and welcomed though concerns are harboured about whether such reliefs are reaching our peoples. The need for sustained direct interventions should be considered and in this vein, we reiterate our call for the long-outstanding improvement in the National Minimum Wage.
The occasion of Independence also allows us the opportunity to examine our economic trajectory. Though we have recorded substantial growth in recent times, and this is expected to be sustained in the coming years, we remain concerned about whether these developments are reaching our people equally.
These issues can well grow sharper in the coming times and there is a need to ensure that proper mechanisms are in place to safeguard against such real concerns. We also should not lose focus on the necessity to maximize our national wealth whether natural or human towards ensuring that our people remain the foremost beneficiaries.
Indeed, our independence anniversary affords us the opportunity to reflect on our journey. It gives us the opportunity to chart a future where we seek to obtain our objectives of One Guyana and where we can build a stronger Guyana together.
On this Independence Day, our desire is to see a future of inclusivity and prosperity for our people. In this regard, as we draw closer to our objectives of building a modern, prosperous country, the GAWU, again, extends best wishes on this 56th anniversary of Independence.

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