Georgetown, Guyana – (May 1, 2018) President David Granger, today, declared that the door to his office remains open to all Unions working in the interest of all workers across Guyana, even as he noted that the days for confrontation are over. The President reiterated his Government’s support for the process of consultation, cooperation and collaboration in the interest of the working population.
The President was at the time speaking to media operatives at the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU), where he paid a visit for the ‘May Day’ or ‘Labour Day’ celebrations. From there, the Head of State visited the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU), Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (GPTWU) and the Clerical and Commercial Workers’ Union (CCWU).
“We have passed through the age of confrontation. We are now in the age of cooperation and collaboration. I have worked with the GTU, I have worked for the GPSU, and I will work with any Union. I met, as you know very well, early this year with GAWU [Guyana Agricultural and Commercial Workers’ Union] and it is probably the first time that I have sat face to face with members of sugar unions. The important thing is that the future of Guyana is in the hands of the workers and also of the Government and civil society. This Government is a listening Government, this Government is learning and this Government is a caring Government. I will continue to speak with the unions. No union leader can feel that the doors of the Presidency will be closed,” he said.
Noting that a proposal with a list of recommendations to improve the lives of Teachers’ is before the Cabinet and the Ministry of Finance, the President said that the Government remains committed to building a stronger relationship with the GTU and will work together to confront any challenges, which may arise.
President of the GTU, Mr. Mark Lyte, said that the Union is thankful that the Head of State made the time and effort to celebrate May 1 with the members of the Union.
Over at the GLGOU, the President, who was greeted by President of that Union, Ms. Wendy De Cunha, told the members of the Union that the Government is continuously working to ensure that the lives of workers are improved. He noted that the Boats, Buses, Bicycles plus Breakfast and Books or Five B’s programme is part of Government’s efforts of creating a better life for its citizens.
“You are foremost in our thoughts. We think of you. We think of the circumstances you have had to live within for the past quarter of a century and we are trying to make life better for the ordinary person. Those school buses save workers millions of dollars every year. So we have been doing things to make life better for you. Our hearts are with you. We will continue working,” President Granger noted.
At the GPSU’s headquarters, the President said that a visit to GPSU has always been a tradition for him as members of the Public Service are dear to his heart. “No matter what I do on May 1, I have to come to GPSU. I am here to thank you for your hard work and to tell you to bear with us. When things get better, your life will get better. We are on your side GPSU,” he said.
At the GPTWU and the CCWU, the Head of State echoed similar sentiments, as he noted that it is the workers that will take the country forward. “Your labour, your dedication and your hard work will keep moving the country forward. There is no issue between CCWU and Government that cannot be resolved,” he said at the CCWU’s Union Hall.
Ms. Andrea Marks, a member of the CCWU, expressed gratitude to the Head of State for his visit as she noted that the Union now looks forward to his attendance every year.
Ms. Shondelle Smart, who was present at the observance at the GPSU, said that she is pleased that the President has chosen this day to meet, greet and spend time with workers. “I really, really happy to see the President out here today because it shows that he cares and it really heartens me,” she said.