Workers must stand together as never before | Letters to Editor - Financial Daily News Site

Workers must stand together as never before | Letters to Editor

We in the Republic observed Labour Day yesterday, (observe used here because there is little to celebrate), we do so in one of the bleakest eras for the Labour movement.

In seven years, the administration of the day decimated the most powerful union in the Caribbean, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) and closed down our oil refinery, the only real forex earning infrastructure we have in our nation.

The administration has also gone beyond the normal customs of negotiation between employer and unions, by not negotiating for the expected 3-5 year periods, but instead for an eight year period with a ridiculous starting offer of two per cent.

Whilst the Prime Minister is telling us that no jobs were lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have masses expected to be retrenched from WASA, T&TEC and TSTT. We also have the TTRA coming soon with the death of the BIR and surely hundreds of its workers and the Ministry of Local Government should be a corpse soon with also hundreds of their staff on the breadline. These are just a few examples of the restructuring and retrenchment of thousands in the Civil Service, Statutory Bodies, Commissions and Authorities.

The working class in the nation will again face the brunt of the Finance Minister’s adjustment of subsidies including gas, diesel and kerosene. Once these prices shift upwards there will be increases in our electricity bills, transport costs and food bills. On the horizon is the property tax that will inevitably increase the cost of the renting population bringing immense hardship to our working class comrades.

With these major issues affecting the labour movement, we have to observe this day as never before. We have to stand together in solidarity, forgetting our differences, and showing the administration enough is enough.

As the words of the immortal Brother Resistance resonate, remember them dearly:

I work my finger to the bone for me country

I squeeze blood out of stone for me country

The people in authority

mashing up my family

So much a years that we sweat and toil

Is we blood and tears what till the soil

But we still suffering

And we children can’t see the way, hey

I wake up in the morning and it’s more unemployment

I cyar take dat

I wake up in the morning and it’s more retrenchment

I cyar take dat

When they going to stop all this humiliation

I cyar take dat

Wake up in the morning more frustration

I cyar take dat…No!

Ain’t taking that, so

People ain’t taking that.

Happy Labour Day to all comrades.

Rawle Gopie



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