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The strike by workers employed at Linden Utility Services Coop Society Limited (LUSCSL) has entered its 21st day and workers remain steadfast.
Village Voice caught up with Charles Sampson, President of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU), who are representing the striking workers, for an update.
According to him, the delay in bringing resolution to the strike shows clearly that the Chief Labour Officer (CLO), Dhaneshwar Deonarine does not understand labour relations or there is political interference. He said the LUSCSL is an essential service organisation and the industrial dispute should have been settled awhile back.
Two Mondays ago the Union and LUSCSL General Manager met at the Ministry of Labour. At that meeting he said Terms Of Resumption (TOR) were hammered out. He said the Union presented its demands and in engagement with the Management and Labour Department and they have agreed to five items, allowing for the remaining demands to be dealt with during negotiation between the union and management.
Terms of Resumption:
- There shall be no victimization by either party.
- There shall be no loss in service and benefits.
- The parties agree to meet after resumption to discuss the filling of all vacancies.
- The company agrees to enter into negotiation for a new Collective Labour Agreement after full resumption.
- There shall be full resumption of work within forty-eight hours after the signing of an agreement.
The TOR was typed up by the Labour Department, said Sampson. What was required was the CLO passing the document to acting Chief Cooperative Development Officer, Debbie Persaud, which is part of the Ministry of Labour.
Once the CCDO signs the TOR the workers will return to work, he said.
His concern is that the politicians should not be interfering in the procedures that would cause a strike to end. This morning, he said, the Union was told they have to sign a TOR, when the formality should have come from the Ministry of Labour.
The workers continue to hold out to have their demands met.