Protestors yesterday in front of City Hall
Protestors yesterday in front of City Hall

guyana chronicle February 19, 2016

 CITY Hall workers on Thursday rejected the Carvil Duncan-led Guyana Labour Union (GLU), allegedly because of poor representation and a loss of confidence in the leadership of the trade union organisation.Chaos erupted yesterday when representatives of the GLU who were protesting at the the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) received a backlash when workers turned the heat on them. As they made an attempt to attain justice for the workers of the M&CC whom they represent, union representatives were left bewildered as the workers turned out in their numbers protesting against the GLU.

The workers counter-protested the union, stating that for years their pleas for betterment have gone unheard. Thus they highlighted that it is time the union is refreshed and new faces are installed to fight for their rights. Workers lamented that President of the GLU, Carvil Duncan, has too many responsibilities and cannot pay keen interest to matters which affect workers who are represented by the union.

Although the union was protesting for an opportunity to meet with the Town Clerk to discuss and address matters affecting the workers, the workers did not find any interest in it, declaring that they were tired of “false” meetings being held.

An official from the GLU, Irma Glenn, disclosed that they are protesting for the rights of the workers. “We have always been working towards the betterment of the workers we represent, and of recent we have been obstructed, for some strange reasons, from meeting with the Town Clerk,” she said.

Glenn finds it surprising that the workers are going against the GLU, despite the union’s efforts to get them justice. Nevertheless, she gave the assurance that the union would continue to work for the betterment of the workers, and if they are not pleased with the representation they are getting, they can vote for new heads of the union in the future.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the M&CC said the Council was both astonished and disappointed at an attempted protest by the GLU.

“The Council is not aware of any grievance or challenge that might have triggered this activity. In fact, over the last six months, the City’s Administration has been doing all things practicable to ensure the integrity of the work environment for its employees. It is no secret that workers’ welfare is the Council’s top priority, and its administration will pull out all stops to ensure that workers are satisfied and comfortable in their various areas.

“As a result, administration has done the following: repaired and refurbished municipal buildings which accommodate its employees; provided appropriate furniture, tools and equipment for employees; secured on-time payments of wages and salaries for workers; provided uniforms for its workers in all categories, and held regular meetings and consultations with workers employed by the municipality.

“Therefore, administration is hard-pressed to understand the attempted protest action by the Guyana Labour Union. Unfortunately, many of those workers who were called to protest the Council in fact protested against the leaders of the Guyana Labour Union, and requested Council to remove them from that particular union to another one.

“In the circumstances, Council is obliged to review its relationship with the Guyana Labour Union,” the M&CC said.

Moreover, the M&CC said it notes that the Guyana Labour Union, by attempting to call a protest action without appropriate notice, has breached the established norms and protocols at the Georgetown Municipality for dealing with grievances.

“This is unacceptable, irresponsible, and unreasonable. The attempt was calculated to mislead workers and distract them from their official tasks and assignments. Administration wishes to thank all of its workers for their cooperation, support and understanding of the collective effort of Council to rebuild the City of Georgetown. Further, administration wishes to encourage all employees of the Mayor and City Council to remain unswervingly focused and resolutely committed to the trust which was reposed in Council by all of its citizens. Most of Council’s workers are performing credibly and admirably, and administration will ensure that they are properly recognised and rewarded.”