M&CC workers’ union very silent

first_imgDear Editor,Something has to be seriously wrong with the two labour unions, also called trade unions in Guyana, that are supposed to represent the collective interests of the workers of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown. These two labour unions, which ought to unite to negotiate with the Council over wages, hours, benefits and other working conditions, are instead very silent, passive, and seemingly almost complicit with the Council, as municipal workers, both current and former, are brutalised on a daily basis for years now.Can you imagine the Council is planning a big anniversary jollification whilst refusing to hand over the workers’ contributions to the National Insurance Scheme, thus compromising the employees’ welfare, and not a murmur is coming from any of the unions? It is no wonder the NIS is encountering fiscal constraints, as the Council has owed them for years and seems to be in no hurry to pay.How could the Council’s ‘Big Enchiladas’ be flying all over the world with little or nothing to show for it, whilst failing to remit the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) deductions to the Guyana Revenue Authority as they are required by law to do. Again, no action by the unions.Apart from industrial action, they can pursue legal options on behalf of the workers. One can only hope that the union leaders would not be seen hobnobbing at the extravagant anniversary dinners and cocktail receptions whilst the workers are unable to file their tax returns.Are the unions not concerned about the nonpayment of the workers’ contributions to their credit unions, preventing them from accessing loans and other benefits?But worst of all is the deafening silence of the unions regarding the nonpayment of gratuities and pensions to municipal employees, who have retired after serving the Council for decades with distinction, whilst the Council’s revenue is frittered away on contractors who do not have to bid for jobs; on a bloated human resource structure; and on expensive vehicles, bodyguards, chauffeurs, and other excesses.Could someone explain the paradox between the terrible conditions the Georgetown Municipality’s workers are faced with and the unions’ declining representation of their members? Have the unions lost their teeth, been silenced, or bought out?Haile Selassie once said that, throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.Sincerely,Shanta Singhlast_img read more

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Special audit of CJIA expansion project needed

first_imgDear Editor,The allegation of corruption at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport expansion project is becoming worse by the minute and must not go unchallenged. Unless greater transparency is brought to the implementation of this contract, Guyana will be worse off financially and infrastructurally than it was before this US$150 million loan was borrowed. What we are seeing at the airport is the height of human vulgarity.In the USA, with all the post 9/11 requirements, the Westchester 6-gate airport terminal cost about US$90 million from scratch. In the case of Guyana, we shall only be receiving a 4-gate terminal and an extension of the runaway for US$150 million. That would have been acceptable if it was a new departure and arrival terminal. But now we are finding out that the old terminal has not been torn down. Rather, it has been gutted and is being reused at the departure area.We must also remember that the PPP in 2011 signed a fixed-priced contract for US$150 million that committed the contractor to an airport as per the contract with 8 gates, new departure and arrival terminal and a 10,800 feet runway to make it a category Code 4E runway (a jumbo jet – BOEING 747-400 aircraft can land). The PNC varied the contract and offered four gates and a refurbished departure terminal. So, picking sense from nonsense, Guyana is getting less and is still being charged the same price. What abject nonsense is this? How more bogus can Team Granger get?I appeal to the Office of the Auditor General to conduct a special audit on this project to assess if this nation is securing value for money. I appeal to the Auditor General to safeguard all evidence since any future Government would need such evidence to prosecute those found culpable for misappropriation of public funds.Regard,Lisa Allylast_img read more

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