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…congratulates Irfaan Ali
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has welcomed the reinstatement of a dedicated Ministry of Labour even as it offers congratulations to the new government headed by Dr Irfaan Ali.
In a statement issued on Thursday GTUC said it notes President Irfaan Ali is the ninth President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and welcomes the opportunity to see Guyana moving forward after a hotly contested election. “The Irfaan Ali regime will now be held accountable for managing in the interest of all Guyanese whose lives, livelihood and future are in the hands of the government he heads,” the GTUC statement read.
It added: “As with every election GTUC expects each new government to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and therefore better serve the people. This expectation is no different for President Ali and his regime, for the fundamental principles of GTUC remains the well-being of all and the creation of a society that will bring peace, stability, wealth and a living wage to all, a society that will protect its most vulnerable.”
The umbrella trade union movement said it stands ready and prepared to continue its representation of workers’ rights and all issues affecting the working class of Guyana (past, present and potential).” We of the GTUC applaud the establishment of an independent Ministry of Labour as a step in the right direction and one that will guarantee workers’ interest are better served and protected. This is now a time for healing from the differences and rancour even as we respect the right of others to resolve outstanding controversies surrounding the 2020 election. Presidential leadership towards this mending is integral for moving this government and country forward.” Under the David Granger-led government the labour portfolio was merged under the Ministry of Social Protection. The ministry however, had a labour department which was headed by Keith Scott, the then Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection.
Meanwhile, the new Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton has tasked his office with ensuring that Guyana’s labour force reaches its full capacity to participate in the new economy. “The human development programmes that we have presently will be expanded and upgraded and made to reach every region of Guyana to prevent uneven development,” Hamilton is quoted in a Department of Public Information bulletin as saying. “Going forward my first task is to engage so that I can get an understanding from all the players, their perspective of things and what are their difficulties, the problems they would have had over the years,” Minister Hamilton stated.
Minister Hamilton said he will also be working to stabilise relations between the employers and employees so matters can be dealt with quickly whether negotiated or mediated. The people’s needs will be put first to ensure a smooth flow of the labour force and economy. He noted that discussions will be held with the new companies that are expressing an interest in conducting business in Guyana.
All stakeholders, he said particularly overseas companies will be made of the country’s labour laws to ensure citizens are treated fairly. The Minister also disclosed that he is also considering the idea of establishing Regional Labour Officers across the country. Minster Hamilton noted that fundamentally the objective of his ministry is to ensure that “everything works towards human development.”