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…urges company to respect union, workers
Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton has ordered officials of the foreign-owned Demerara Timbers Limited (DTL) that they must respect the union and the workers.
In a press release the Guyana Agriculture and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) said the minister was uneasy about the company alleged refusal to engage with the union for some period now in clear contravention of the Laws of Guyana. The meeting with the minister followed GAWU’s appeal last week for the Ministry of Labour to uphold Collective Bargaining between the Union and the Company.
“The minister was visibly upset that the DTL’s workers’ rights were wantonly being trampled upon by the company. When asked for an explanation, the Company’s acting Human Resources Officer, offered a feeble response to say DTL’s stance originated from instructions from his superiors,” the GAWU release stated. Minister Hamilton, according to the release found the explanation unacceptable and told the DTL representatives that he wishes to engage their bosses as it appeared they were constrained from making any decisions. As a result, Minister Hamilton, through the Chief Labour Officer (a.g.), has summoned the top officials of the DTL within the next two weeks. He has also committed within the near future to visit the company’s operations at Mabura Hill, the release added.
The company has had several run-ins with its workers and union over the years and at one time it had even threatened to shut down its operations. Back in 2016 DTL had wrongfully dismissed 11 workers who had called on the logging company to engage in good-faith negotiations with the union during a picketing exercise.