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Government’s recent appointment of representatives to the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board (TURCB) has drawn fire from the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG).FITUG officials: (From L)- NAACIE’s General Secretary, Kenneth Joseph; GAWU’s President,China Jerseys, Komal Chand; FITUG’s President, Carvil Duncan and GAWU’s General Secretary, Seepaul Narine.During a press conference yesterday at the High Street headquarters of National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), FITUG officials insisted that Government failed to consult on the appointments and that there may have been a political inclination.“FITUG sees a developing danger – trade unionism is being undermined,” said NAACIE’s General Secretary,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, Kenneth Joseph, in a prepared statement.Last month, it was announced that former Judge Claudette La Bennett was appointed Chairperson of the crucial union oversight body.Present at the press conference yesterday in addition to Joseph were Komal Chand, President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), FITUG’s President, Carvil Duncan and GAWU’s General Secretary,Camiseta Barcelona 2018-19, Seepaul Narine.According to the FITUG,Bvb Trikot 18/19, it has over 30,000 members compared to the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC),Shoes Nz Sale, which has about 15,000.With the laws clear on how representatives to TURCB are to be nominated, the umbrella body believes that the Trade Union Recognition Act (TURA) was violated by the Government when the Cabinet of Ministers made appointments on October 20 – the board became functional with effect from November 01.According to TURA, the board has to consist of seven members, each appointed for a period of two years.The chairperson is appointed by the minister after consultations with the most representative organisations of workers and the most representative organisations of employers. In this case, FITUG happens to be the most representative organisation.With regards to the six members, FITUG explained that three will be appointed on the nomination by the organization with the most representations, with the remainder on the nomination of the most representative organisations of employers.TURCB is the body which by law has the final say in whether a union can represent workers.FITUG explained that on November 11th, the Chief Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Officer requested it to name a representative to sit on the board.“…Section 5(1) (ii) of the Act requires the workers’ representatives on the board to be nominated by the most representative organization of workers. FITUG deems the action of the Government as most disturbing and will do everything that is possible to expose this offensive decision,” Narine said.“The Federation alerts the workers of Guyana and urges its affiliates to guard against the return of the days when seats and positions of the trade unions were handed down based on the union’s loyalty to the powers-that-be. The allocation of one seat to FITUG and two to the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is a violation of the TURA.”The Government should not have engaged in such an act which is contrary to the easily understood law. We were promised respect for the rule of law, but in reality the opposite is surfacing day after day.FITUG had proposed its President, Carvil Duncan, and Narine as its representatives on TURCB.Joseph and President of the Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU) Sherwood Clarke were reportedly also named as alternates.GTUC’s representatives on the board were its President, Lincoln Lewis, and Eslyn Parris, of the Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union (PTWU).“The workers and their legitimate organisations must be conscious of the worrying situation and speak out and stand up in defence of their hard won rights before it is too late. The appointment of the Tripartite Committee by the Cabinet is another matter of concern. That Committee,Jerseys From China, among others, comprises six (6) representatives of workers. The GTUC has been awarded five (5) and FITUG has been requested to nominate one (1). This is another discriminatory act against the most representative organization of workers,” the NAACIE General Secretary claimed.The last Tripartite Committee headed by former Minister of Labour, Dr Nanda Gopaul, comprised representatives according to the membership of the FITUG and the GTUC – four and two members respectively.FITUG executives were expected to meet yesterday and discuss the issue, to decide the way forward, said Duncan.Two weeks ago, FITUG said it had written Government on the issue but only received an acknowledgment. According to Chand, it is clear that the law caters for the umbrella union body that has the most members – in this case it is FITUG.FITUG and GTUC have been at odds over the years, with the traditional May Day rallies seeing them going separate ways.
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