…for PNC folks
Your Eyewitness is all for workers’ struggle and all that, but he understands one thing from bitter experience! There can’t be workers without businesses!! You can start selling “sweetie” on the street, or hock water at traffic stops, but you ain’t a worker no mo…you’re self-employed!!
Now, businesses can close down for any number of reasons – but invariably, it’s because they aren’t profitable. Where would they get the money to pay employees at the end of the week, or month, or whenever?? In fact, we had a classic case starting around Christmas of 2016, when this Government shut down Wales, and would follow up with Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon. They said sugar losing money and had to be subsidised by the Government.
Overall, some 5,100 workers directly employed by GuySuCo were fired, along with another 2000 or so employed by private cane farmers who were supplying cane to the closed estates. The workers were, of course, livid – and being told just before Christmas sure didn’t help! – at the Govt’s heartlessness. After all, the Government’s own CoI – led by the Chairman of GuySuCo — had recommended keeping the subsidies going for another three years and then privatise the industry.
Folks pointed out the social responsibilities of governments to their citizens – but the Government stood firm. They were running a business, and couldn’t keep on with it if there were no profits!! The 7000 workers were on their own – since it wasn’t Govt’s responsibility to facilitate alternative employment. At the time, your Eyewitness felt that this was one hard-nosed “free-market” Government, where morality or justice didn’t enter the picture – the market decided those issues.
So he’s in a bit of a quandary right now with the standoff in Berbice between the Govt and RUSAL bauxite. Rather than being a Government, RUSAL’s a real PRIVATE business, which all and sundry expects to be even more concerned about profits. The company says it’s been losing money ever since it was wooed to take over the mines when no other company would, back in 2004. So one would think it’d be real concerned when workers just walk off their jobs – violating their contracts – and thus slow down production – and profits.
They fired 91 workers who did this, and suddenly the same Government — which fired 7000 workers for not even striking, but merely because sugar was losing money – are up in arms and rallying the country against the “monstrous” company!!
The touted narrative is about the “rapacious” multi-national exploiting our poor workers — earning $269,000 monthly plus free electricity and gas.
But could it be that, unlike sugar workers, they’re PNC supporters? Naah…the PNC’s not that callous!!
…with Integrity Commission
The PPP Government established an “Integrity Commission” way back — probably hoping to usher in a sense of responsibility in Government officials to declare their assets and incomes. It would be very easy to identify the profligate corrupt big ones – if their big houses etc far in excess of their incomes. Between 1964 and 1992, the PNC had created such a cesspool of corruption in Government that citizens had become very cynical about even the new MPs who’d been voted in after free and fair elections of 1992.
But a funny thing happened on the way of implementing what everyone thought was a very good start to cracking down on corruption. Excepting the PNC!! Their MPs refused bluntly, and when asked why, said they objected to the Chairman – who just happened to be the head of the Anglican Church – Bishop George! Imagine that!!
Well, the shoe’s on the other foot now, and the PNC has appointed its own Chairman. But its MPs still aren’t filing!!
Where there’s smoke, there’s the fire of corruption!! Bun dem!!
…for access to books?
What’s all this hullabaloo about RUSAL “cooking” its books with “transfer pricing” and suchlike. Didn’t the Government’s 10 per cent of the shares ensure they had PNC’s Lance Carberry on the board??
They’ve had access to the books!!