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By Sharmain GraingerSigns calling for “new special legislation to deal with corruption”, a “tax regime reform” and “no to sugar privatisation” were among `those that were displayed at the foot of the western stand of the National Park, which accommodated the less than 500 workers who made up the gathering at the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) Labour Day Rally yesterday.Held under the theme “Towards workers’ rights and rewards,” the rally, as customary, saw the attendance of a segment of workers,Arsenal Fc Shop Uk, who had earlier marched from downtown Georgetown to the junction of Woolford Avenue and Albert Street, where as expected some led by Opposition Leader, David Granger, headed to the Guyana Trade Union Congress headquarters.A few others headed to the Guyana Teachers Union Hall and another group, made up of those mainly represented by the Guyana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), diverted to the National Park.A section of the workers during yesterday’s FITUG Rally.Moments before the latter contingent reached the National Park, President Donald Ramotar,White NFL Jerseys Cheap, who was earlier marching in solidarity with the workers, arrived in his official presidential car.His arrival was closely followed by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Ministers of Government, union and other officials. Very noticeable among the officials was Chairman of the Alliance for Change, Nigel Hughes, who was prominently seated on stage. First among those to take to the podium to deliver his speech was First Vice President of FITUG,Cheap Authentic Jerseys, Komal Chand, who noted that the significance and tradition of May (Labour) Day have endured in the working class movement for over 120 years.He regarded the day as one to reflect on “our struggles, victories,Cheap Jerseys, our setbacks and indeed the tasks and challenges ahead.”“It is a day in which, with the spirit of proletarian internationalism, we express and send our heartfelt solidarity to all the exploited and oppressed of the world,” said Chand.This year the first expression of solidarity was extended to workers of the developed capitalist world who in their millions,Jerseys NFL China, find themselves unemployed, homeless and increasingly poverty-stricken, the First Vice President noted.“We hail and support their courage and struggle against the twin-headed monster of inequality and austerity unleashed on them by their ruling classes and spineless Governments.”But although his intent was to solicit the solidarity of the workers in attendance yesterday, Chand was not able to demand their undivided attention as most seem keen to engage conversations and were at times as loud as the programmed speakers who were aided by a public address system.Some workers opted to not be a part of the gathering altogether at the National Park and were seen indulging in other activities in trucks that were used to transport them.However Chand persevered, pointing out to the workers that “we must be mindful of the arduous path that we travel; the achievements we are proud of and the goals yet to be achieved…“As workers we need to be more assertive in demanding our rights and insist that we be involved in the decision-making in our workplace and at various levels of society.”In a desperate attempt to regain the attention of the workers, President of FITUG, Carvil Duncan, warned that the message coming out of the rally may in fact be one that requires them to apply some instructions.At this juncture he sought to amplify the theme of the rally even as he underscored that workers must seek to ask themselves, “have we been enjoying rights compatible with our thinking and our beliefs over the years, and I am quite certain many of you would say yes, but quietly.”Duncan also made reference to his convictions that workers have been very quiet as it relates to developing situations in the country. “I am not one of the persons who like to speak about agitating workers; I am a peaceful man, very, very peaceful but when workers’ rights are being trampled upon and nobody does anything about it, then I become a worried man.”He said that FITUG has noted with concern that the cuts to the national budget have the potential of significantly impacting the lives of those within the working class so much so that some could even find themselves without a job.Alluding to the cuts to the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL), Duncan queried whether workers have analysed the developing state of affairs.“Have we considered if you have to pay a 17 to 20 per cent increase in Light Bill…because as it stands now you can hardly afford it.”And compounding the situation, Duncan speculated that GPL may also have to terminate workers since the revenue the power company currently receives cannot sustain its operation.FITUG at the conclusion of its rally sought to move a resolution to endorse its support for the $208.8 billion 2013 National Budget that was presented by Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh, on March 25 to the National Assembly.The resolution was read by General Secretary of FITUG, Kenneth Joseph, who insisted that the budget in its original form contained measures aimed at fostering growth while improving the people’s welfare and standard of living. He said too that FITUG was alarmed to learn that the “united parliamentary opposition” during considerations of the estimates decided to cut some of the projects all of which are ongoing.The union movement, according to Joseph, is convinced that the move was “irresponsible and callous” and the negative consequences will be felt mainly by the Guyanese working people.According to the General Secretary the budgetary cuts amounting to the very substantial sum of $31.4 billion would have effectively denied citizens access to cheap and reliable electricity, stop construction of a health facility that promised specialty health care at expectedly affordable cost,Air Max 90 Scontate, prevented the modernisation and employment and other benefits associated with a larger airport and threatened the job of those workers at the National Communications Network and the Government Information Agency.He said that FITUG condemns the opposition’s tactic of cutting the budget as they did to the 2012 budget. Thereby a resolve was proposed that the nation supports moves by the Government to restore the amount cut from the budget in order to continue with the projects affected even as solidarity is shown to those that have been affected.Yesterday’s event was not without the singing of the Labour Day theme song “Solidarity for Forever” and entertaining dances from the Majorettes and the Nadira and Indranie Shah Dance Troupe.
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