GAWU complains to int’l union about burdens of working class in Guyana

The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) has informed international trade unions of what is described as “heavy burdens” being endured by the working class in Guyana.

Some of the participants of the WFTU meeting held in Argentina

Assistant General Secretary Aslim Singh recently participated in a two-day meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Trade Unions affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).
At the meeting held in Argentina, Singh informed trade unionists of the situation in Guyana.
“Our Union pointed out that, in recent times, the workers and their families have been confronted by heavy increases in the cost-of-living occasioned by the imposition of new taxes, hiking of existing taxes and the withdrawal of subsidies to workers and pensioners,” GAWU highlighted in a press statement.
“Apart from that, the Union’s Assistant General Secretary told the meeting that our country’s democratic culture and rule of law are being undermined following the failure of the Government to abide by the consequences of a successful No-Confidence Motion in the National Assembly. The Union pointed out that the democratic and other forces in our country were now engaged in a new struggle to restore constitutional rule through free and fair elections and rollback the hardships imposed on the working class.”
The meeting brought together some 50 trade unionists from Argentina, Guyana, Uraguay, Paraguay, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, among other countries in the region. Also attending the meeting was WFTU General Secretary, George Mavrikos, who is based at the body’s headquarters in Athens, Greece.
Participants from the various countries also informed the meeting of what is taking place in their respective nations.
GAWU said, “the story was all too familiar as the meeting learnt that workers are confronted by every conceivable mean/s to rollback their gains and undermine their victories”.
According to GAWU, the meeting also heard from a delegation from Venezuela which provided an update of the circumstances in that country whose Government is facing attacks from several quarters.

Fight for a better world
General Secretary of the WFTU, George Mavrikos in his address, noted that workers and their organisations need to continue to raise aloft the banner of struggle and unity. He reminded that the path the working class has travelled is paved with immense and intense struggles.
The WFTU General Secretary urged those present to continue to fight for a better world for this and the next generations.
On the last day of the meeting which coincides with the establishment of the WFTU, participants observed the International Day of Action. The theme of this year’s Action Day was “Struggle against xenophobia, racism and fascism”.
The organisation has pointed out that xenophobia and racism are intentionally raised so as to divide. The WFTU said in many places wars and conflicts have created millions of refugees who fall victims of hatred and racist discriminations. In too many countries, it noted, fascist and fascist-like parties are entering into Government and imposing many hardships and difficulties on workers. Since its establishment, the WFTU has placed at the forefront of its demands the struggle for peace and equality, fighting against Apartheid in South Africa, against racial and all types of discrimination.
The meeting was most successful and similar activities will be organised in the coming months as the WFTU will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020. At this time, the WFTU has an affiliated membership of some 96 million workers in 138 countries worldwide. It has set itself by the end of 2020 to have 100 million workers in its fold.
The GAWU has been an affiliate of the WFTU for many years and has received solidarity and support during its previous struggles. In more recent times, the organisation was critical of the Government’s decision to close the sugar estates and put thousands of workers on the breadline.