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The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) extends Easter Greetings to all Guyanese, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters. In these times of trials and tribulations it’s important to remind the Christian community that whereas Christ called on his followers to render unto Caesar (i.e. government) the things that are of Caesar (such as obeying law, paying taxes, etc), He also condemned leaders who governed without compassion for the vulnerable in society.
This holiday bears much significance to the Christian world for it symbolises a more compassionate approach in treating our fellowman. In the Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus Christ brought salvation to all men. This equality in salvation acknowledges all are equal in worth and status. But Guyana continues to face a crisis in governance. It is a crisis that ignores the vulnerable and treats half the society and those perceived to be opponents of the government as aliens and unworthy.
There is escalating disparity in the government’s management of the economy. Calls by civil society for inclusion in national decision-making are ignored inspite the political system mandates inclusionary democracy as per Article 13 in the Constitution of Guyana. The vulnerable and poor continue to be denied social and economic justice.
The working class, particularly unionised workers, continues to be denied the basic right to justice through collective bargaining and private sector workers, particularly in the commercial district, denied increased minimum wage as approved by the Tripartite Committee during the administration of the APNU+AFC. Unemployment remains high.
Inflation continues to rise, further eroding real wages and pushing essential items out of the reach of the working poor, pensioners and unemployed. Each passing day Guyana is becoming a tale of two cities, drifting further and further away from the aspirations of the founders to treat all with equal respect and dignity under the overarching principle of One People, One Nation, One Destiny.
Hopelessness hovers over the nation like a dark cloud. The pandemic is not only poorly managed but has become the smokescreen for government to justify its incompetence and engage in financial squander-mania. Thus, it came as no surprise that a recently commissioned United States’ poll found that more than half of the young people interviewed don’t see a future in Guyana. Two-third of the population is under 35 years
The God of the Christians, though a God of mercy, is also a God of accountability. GTUC therefore calls on the Christian community to put on the true armour of God, let’s hold hands and go into the highways and byways and do thy Father’s will, advocating compliance to the gospel “…to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” (Isaiah 1:17).
May this Easter be the year of a call to action and spiritual awakening among Christians as done in days of yore and presently in other societies in taking public stands for justice and equality. May this be the beginning of a brighter and better tomorrow.