The Peoples National Congress Reform on the occasion of Labour Day 2022 called on the government of the day to respect the country’s workers rights and so- engage labour leaders. One of the potential outcomes of the meetings proposed by the Opposition is to begin the process of Collective Bargaining.
Read the full press release:
Fellow Guyanese, as we gather here, it is with great pleasure that as leader of both the PNCR and the Opposition that I join with you and the rest of the world to commemorate this International Labour/Workers Day.
Today, as was specially identified, is the day to celebrate you our workers as the creators and turners of the wheels of this economy and to recognize the efforts of your labour. From factory to factory, from field to field, from office to office, the labour of your hands has indeed transformed our country especially during the height of the pandemic and without a doubt kept us safe. It is a fact that without labour, there can be no prosperity or growth. As a philosopher once said, “Labour is what brings the difference in everything, so it’s evident that labour is the game changer of all progress.”
That’s why today we celebrate with pride the sacrifices and contributions made by our working class way back to the time of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, the Father of Trade Unionism, who fought relentlessly, paving the way for the many benefits that are being enjoyed today. You would indeed recall the uncertainties and disruptions to our lives over the last eighteen or more months. Nonetheless, we are here a Strong, Dynamic and Resilient group of people who have continued to turn the wheels of production with the hope of being able to secure a better way of life for all peoples of this Great Land of ours.
COVID, as you would know, has done us many wrong—namely, deaths amongst us and also caused everything to stop or to slow down. However, in your simple way you continued to display dedication, commitment and unwavered support while not even been given a moderate recognition. Rather, you were locked out of your places of work, had salary cuts, were threatened with dismissal and left to ponder a path for survival. I must remind all that it was the APNU+AFC Government, who displayed care, concern and that deep commitment when we ordered the closure of all schools across the country. We also instituted curfews and rotation system in many of the sectors as we sought to find ways and means of ensuring the safety of the working class in unprecedented times. In all of this, the Labour Movement and its members stood with resilience. Therefore, it is for reasons like these and displays of Love for country that we take time off today to salute you the working class of this beautiful country. Your sacrifices and boldness must never be taken for granted; and you along with your leaders must be shown deep respect and gratitude.
This PPP Government must put its pride and begin the process of reaching out to the leaders to begin the process of Collective Bargaining. They must be cognisant that workers’ rights are human rights and that each worker must be treated equally. Our women and men who serve in every sector must be RESPECTED and given his/her fair share of the pie. Any government worth its salt would quickly seek to engage its labour leaders and put into action the labour conventions that have been signed on to and display some civic responsibility.
Finally, I wish to thank every worker for their unwavering dedication, love and commitment to this country and to say that as a result of your being steadfast and resolute we can achieve much.
So today, as we celebrate you, we do so with pride and a deep sense of commitment, knowing that you are worth CELEBRATING. Happy Labour Day!