Like Mr Lewis turn wan of dem one love social cohesion type....hey hey hey.

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Lincoln Lewis personifies the demise of Guyana


This country has become so lost, nihilistic, and soulless that the infection is consuming most of us. The latest victim is Lincoln Lewis. I am going to argue my case against him by the supply of facts not interpretations. I am going to quote what trade unions and employees have to say about this man.
Lewis, writing in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, published a letter about me with the headline, “Freddie Kissoon is playing a dangerous game with this society and our highest tertiary institution of learning.” From reading Lewis’s missive, the game centers on my criticism of the current Vice Chancellor of UG and Lewis’s friend, Ivor English, who represents the TUC on the Council of the UG.
This column will consist mostly of quotes from well known persons in this country, one of whom is a very close friend of Lewis on what is taking place at UG and the betrayal of workers’ rights by Lewis and English.
I will ask readers to bear in mind some of these expressions are far harsher than the observations I have penned on UG’s current leadership and on Messrs. English and Lewis.
Before we come to the quotes, it is the wish of this columnist that TUC president, Coretta Mc Donald, does not embarrass herself by remaining silent on Lewis’s attack on her integrity. Ms. McDonald represents a noble profession – the one that educates all humans – teachers.
I cannot recall if it was three or two times, I brought up with Ms. McDonald the question of how English was assigned to the UG Council on behalf of the TUC. Ms. Donald told me that as president she and the TUC executive were not responsible for the selection of English; this was done unilaterally by Lewis.
Now if I am playing games with Guyana and UG, after supplying these quotes, Lewis will have to tell Guyanese if these people too are trying to destroy Guyana and UG. One of the closest comrades of Lewis is Christopher Ram. Here is what Ram had to say about the Vice Chancellor of UG in the Monday, May 19, 2019 edition of KN.
I will reproduce the relevant section from the news item; “Money was spent without any accountability,” Ram said.
He told Kaieteur News that the audit committee functioned to, among other things, oversee audits by the internal auditors and to liaise with external auditors. But when the committee tried to hold meetings, Ram said that there have been efforts by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, and his staff, to block those meetings.
“Even now, Ram said that there has not been a single audit of UG’s spending habits throughout Griffith’s tenure – 2016 to present – and he worries that the lack of scrutiny has left too much to run amok.
“Griffith’s predecessor was heavily scrutinized to account for his foreign travels, which Ram said comes nowhere close to what Griffith is now getting away with.”
Here is what Ram wrote on the same day in another newspaper, the Stabroek News; “One of the early initiatives of Professor Griffith was the rewriting of the Statutes of the University, making the Vice Chancellor the centre of gravity of the University.
“I sat on the Council at the time and it was a struggle by a small group not dependent on the Vice Chancellor, willing to challenge some of the Vice Chancellor’s “initiatives”, including the proposed Georgetown Campus.
“I recall a letter in support of the proposal supplied to Council by the Administration, purportedly by a banking institution whose existence could not be verified,”
Here now is the union writing to its members on the UG administration; “The Unions suspect that the intention was/is to reappoint the VC without any evaluation. We are serving notice that If the Council decides to reappoint the VC without any evaluation at its meeting tomorrow (yesterday) there will be multiple swift and strong responses by staff.
“The Unions will NOT accept the reappointment of the VC until the special audit on spending at the University is completed and the findings made public.”
Here now is the union on the attitude of Lewis and English to workers’ rights; “Mr English has represented the TUC for over six years on the UG Council. During that period, notwithstanding approaches made to him by the UG Unions’ representatives on the Council, he has consistently sided with the University’s management when there are disagreements with the Unions.
“Of grave concern to us is his reckless support of all initiatives over the past three years that have had grave financial implications for the University…Lewis is aware of all of this.”
In another column, I will expose Lewis’s betrayal even further.

 

 

Original Post

Freddie Kissoon has an agenda and it is not for the improvement of the university or worker/management relationship


 

DEAR EDITOR,

He who asserts must be called on to prove his case. This is a basic principle in the day-to-day practice of trade unionism. Reference is being made to the article in the Freddie Kissoon’s column, “Lincoln Lewis personifies the demise of Guyana” (KN, 23rd May 2019).
Kissoon has accused me of breaching time-honoured principles and being involved in cronyism on matters pertaining to trade unionism, the workers’ unions at the University of Guyana (UG) and the appointment of Ivor English as the Guyana Trades Union Congress’ (GTUC) representative on the UG Council. I have since responded to the allegations, advising that his interpretation of the issues is without merit and dangerous. Refer to letter, “Freddie is playing a dangerous game with this society and our highest tertiary institution of learning” (KN 22nd May, 2019).
I would have expected him, having heard from me on the matters, as a professed academic with the evidence now before him, to have revisited the issues to either negate what was said or provide evidence to the contrary. Sadly, this is not an area of scholarship Freddie seems interested in. He is at his best being irrational and deflecting to personality, hoping to mask his deceit. He acts like a bullying dishonest academic.
On this grave issue where the welfare of the workers, students and university is at stake, there shall be no facilitating of his Napoleonic syndrome to give rise to the need to appear bigger than he is. We are talking about this nation’s only and highest institution of learning and what it requires to understand its workings, address and defuse matters of conflict affecting it presently.
The role and responsibility of the GTUC’s representative and unions’ representative on the Council is different. Consequently, to aid the public in having an understanding as to what these are such is hereunder stated:-

1. The GTUC sits on the Council as a Social Partner in keeping with its constitutional role. Ours is to bring a working class perspective as to the direction the institution should be going consistent with its mandate in creating an educated populace ready to meet the challenges/needs of national development. In this role our representative does not just act as an advocate of those employed at the UG and overtime has agreed and disagreed with other stakeholders on the Council consistent with interest and principles.

2. The university unions have a representative on the Council. That representative sits there as the voice/counsel of organised labour on the campus.

Contrary to Kissoon’s peddling of misinformation, English’s appointment on the Council was sanctioned by the GTUC Central Executive Council. It is the principle of the GTUC after initial appointment of a representative, unless the identified person communicates disinterest in continuing, when the life of the new board/council begins he or she shall continue. English gets no special privilege. He, like others who represent the GTUC at such level, is the beneficiary of the Congress’ time-honoured practice. Such practice is informed by the thinking that continuity is important in management and lapses in performance must be eschewed.
The non-constituting of boards, councils, commissions, etc. has been a practice for some time in this society. This is a matter the GTUC is troubled by and has been vocal on, for lapses hinder continuity, effective and efficient management of the people’s business.
As recent as 5th March, among a 19-point menu of measures proposed to society, Government and Opposition to improve governance was the, “Establishment & continual function of all constitutional Commissions and Tribunal, and Boards – Where the life of one comes to an end and for any reason a new one has not been constituted the life of the current board, commission or tribunal shall continue, until such time that the appropriate action is taken. Non-appointment of any constitutional body constitutes a violation of the Constitution.”
As recent as yesterday (Wednesday), the GTUC leadership, including the President and yours truly, met with the UG unions to listen and address issues of concern to them. We continue to advise that the Collective Labour Agreement guides action in addressing any grievance with the university management.
Freddie Kissoon has an agenda. It is not for the improvement of the university or worker/management relationship. Check his writings on the issues; they are laced with deceit, hatred, personal attacks and pending implosion. Now being out of its limelight, his actions are akin to an animal bitten by rabies. One can only hope sooner rather than later he comes to his senses and reconciles the fact he is no longer in the employ of the university, has no power or locus standing to exert at the Council, over the unions or the students.
I await his response for I know this is an opportunity for him to extol himself and distort what I am saying. I am prepared to engage him now for as long as the media permits.

Lincoln Lewis

Sacrifice of scholarship for meanness and political relevance


 

Freddie Kissoon harbours the thinking that he can determine who personifies the demise of Guyana. He has no such moral authority, particularly when he cannot man up, look in the mirror and accept the role he has played in the degeneracy and lawlessness that permeate this society.
As he spewed his vitriol, perhaps in the belief that he was victorious in his attacks of yet another public figure, it was important that I kept focus on other important issues in Region 7 and 10, knowing that the man who professed publicly to be my friend was attempting to undermine the things I worked hard to achieve.
This so-called self-professed “friend” even went so far to reference my wife in one of his nasty little pieces. I have no fear of Freddie engaging my wife publicly if that is his desire. I only ask that he ensures she receives adequate newspaper coverage to respond to him and not take an unfair advantage of the media to stifle her views. I am also ready to engage him and reference his wife as I see fit, for he has set the standards for this engagement.
Let us take a closer look at the man named Freddie Kissoon.
THIS INGRATE OWES ME
I had the privilege to serve on the University of Guyana (UG) Council as the Guyana Trades Union Congress’ representative when a recommendation was brought before us for the dismissal of Frederick “Freddie” Kissoon. Whereas this most ingracious man will conveniently forget or fail to acknowledge my role in saving his bacon and whereas I do not seek his kudos or acknowledgement of same, what I say now is to make it clear to Freddie that he remained in the service of the UG due in significant measure to the fact that I put to the Council that the recommendation for his dismissal be withdrawn and going forward the rules and standard practices of holding lecturers accountable for academic performance be at all times upheld.
Freddie’s continuity as a lecturer of the institution had to do with my adherence to industrial relations time-honoured principles that allowed him to remain in service based on an administrative weakness. Hence, he was given a chance even though he failed to perform to set academic standards
SACRIFICE OF SCHOLARSHIP FOR MEANNESS AND POLITICAL RELEVANCE
In my application of universally acceptable principles it mattered not – then or now – that Kissoon is not of my race; it remains a matter of the value of its applicability to social justice, Rights and the Rule of Law which has served humanity well over the centuries.
Today Freddie’s deceitfulness and efforts to denigrate me allows him to rhetorically question whether I am a Black fascist, accuses me of racism and xenophobia, whilst using said tenets in calling on the government to put in place a plan for managed migration. What kind of professed academic stoops to such levels to misuse his learning and privilege?
It would be giving him a pass to say he does not know better. He does. It is just that his love of social chaos, his ingrained deceit and lack of integrity allows him to ignore the fact that no nation can see even handed development and best utilisation of its resources for its people where it fails to have a coherent and sensible migration policy, laws and programmes.
Imagine how Freddie would wash his mouth in the proverbial Guyanese manner and heap condemnation on the government and any other with whom he is angry if they failed in this regard. I’m not sure if Freddie would be happy. But Freddie must speak and Freddie must condemn and attack others’ views, just because they are different from his, were not shaped by him, or because he does not favour them.
Readers are reminded that Guyana being a member of the United Nations’ (UN) family it is forgone expectation that these basic structures and policies will be consistent with the tenets of the UN. Freddie acts the fool by ignoring this. He sacrifices scholarship for meanness, because such has always been his nature and means of gaining political relevance.
THE LEWIS’ ARE NOT AFRAID OF COCKROACHES, WORMS AND WEEVILS
My wife is an independent thinker and a woman who has demonstrated her commitment to this nation from within and without the borders of our country. She is an upstanding, law-abiding citizen of two countries and is no less certified than Freddie. That he has sought, in his usual reckless ‘hoist up throw down’ manner to introduce her into his rants about me is typical of this man who seems to feel best when he can get personal, expose your business or publicly embarrass those he attacks, even those he calls friend.
He is advised that my wife has never violated the immigration laws of any country, whether it be for vacation, business, education or residency. He knows that if he has a problem with my wife he can address her, for she has demonstrated numerous times before her capacity to deal with him and others of his ilk. Like her husband, she is fearless of cockroaches, worms, weevils and shrimp-like creatures.
FREDDIE CANNOT BLEMISH THIS RECORD
I am beginning to wonder. We both write for the same newspaper, we were, according to him “friends” yet he has proven in recent times to be the most vicious and nasty person, out to discredit me. Are we rivals for social space or is he seeking credits? Whatever his purpose, these are just a few records of mine that Freddie cannot match or discredit. In 1999 I journeyed to Washington DC, USA to protest against the transgression of the Colombian government. In 1990 I was in Bogota, Colombia, protesting for the release of trade union leaders jailed by the Virgilio Barco Vargas Government. I was at that protest with other trade unionists at the UN Headquarters in New York agitating for the release of Nelson Mandela. As recent as 2007, I was part of the trade union mission to Haiti that sought the release of 13 imprisoned trade unionists, resulting in their release and dropping of all charges within two weeks.
While I did other protests around the world, the highlighted are the major ones. Likewise, when I stood up for Freddie and recently sugar workers, obviously it was not race, fascism or xenophobia that guided me, but the said tenets I hold dear. This is my resume when it comes to treating with diverse groups; a resume I hold proud and would not let Freddie or anyone tarnish.
USE OF THE MEDIA BULLY PULPIT TO LIE, DECEIVE AND DESTROY
Any part of the world, university lecturers are held accountable to a certain level of academic integrity. These are the persons who train our leaders and lift our education standard, not just in classroom, but in their day-to-day attitudes and behaviours. Kissoon knows the power of education, yet he discredits his scholarship for meanness, and driving political and racial divisions as suits his purpose. It is no wonder his political career has been one of vacillations and rejections left, right and centre, not because the truth hurts, but because his genuineness as an advocate is tainted by intellectual and academic dishonesty of a self-serving nature.
Many will recall the role played by him to attack and malign Desmond Hoyte by placing his literal interpretation to Hoyte’s use of the colloquial phrase “more fyah, slo fyah,” where he sought to make it literal. He subsequently, years after Hoyte died said he was sorry. Hoyte never dignified him with a response. I respond not to dignify him.
Kissoon more than most has supported the degeneracy and lawlessness in this society, and is being paid by the media, which he uses as his bully pulpit to tarnish and undermine many good efforts to bring about a better society. He has used his column to misrepresent and undermine the good intent and struggle of a man whose undoubted quest was to pursue the path of ensuring a society of equality, fair play and adherence to the Rule of Law.
Every time I read him giving kudos to Hoyte, I shudder at his wickedness, what he has done to further divide this society along race, and his role in legitimising lawlessness. We can only in sadness reflect what society could have been if executive lawlessness was checked and nipped in the bud.
With regard to UG and the sad state Kissoon bemoans, he must take some responsibility. Were he respecting of the rules of an employee (lecturer) and his responsibility therein, he would have been part of a process to make the university one to be proud of. Where he seeks to distance himself from the negatives we must not let him forget his significant role in ensuring same.
He was one of the lecturers’ accusations were levelled against of not marking papers on time, and there were perpetual complaints from students that if they wrote anything positive about Forbes Burnham he’d scratch up their papers, and mark them down. All of these matters came to the attention of Council. This man has escaped serious public scrutiny for his misdeeds.
Freddie has not been able in his public life to separate the personal from the principles, a fundamental defect of his character. In his Friday’s column he has made Ruel Johnson his new target, attacking his person unnecessarily. The only reason he is doing this is because Johnson has been able to positively channel the energy of the young people around a programme that attends to their self-development. Kissoon won’t like that, because he sees himself as the end all and be all for activism and interpretation of what people ought to be doing, who they should associate with, and what they must pursue.
While Freddie may have a thirst for power or leadership, what remains absent is the capacity and discipline to conceptualise and develop programmes people can buy into. And in his quest to seek relevance on the national stage, he continues to disrupt and condemn even the good.

UG unions should remain in TUC and fight for Lewis’ removal

Dear Editor,

Below are my opinions on the imbroglio developing between the General Secretary of the TUC (not the TUC itself) and the two UG unions. These opinions are in response to the adumbrations of the two unions in a letter carried in both independent dailies of May 30, 2019.

I have been a friend of Lincoln Lewis for more than forty years. Prior to my denunciation of his anti-worker attitudes, we were more than just casual friends. We were part of a broad consensus that dictatorship must be struggled against. In the process, a friendship was forged, a friendship I think that I may no longer be interested in continuing with.

I will not shut my mouth or put down my pen on what Lewis has been doing at UG the past six years. Lewis is guilty in my opinion of deep-seated betrayal of sacred trade union principles and workers’ rights for which I honestly believe he should be removed as General-Secretary (GS) of the TUC, a position he has held for over 25 years without being elected.

An aspect of my long activism (over fifty years) in this country that I cherish was my role as de facto head of the University of Guyana Workers’ Union (UGWU). One of its lasting legacies is that it got the University Council to change one of its statutes that banned academics from the Council as the union representative. Prior to the change, only a non-academic could be the union’s appointee.

There was a time at the beginning of the 21st century when politics had driven total fear into this country and the UGWU was not afraid to picket and demonstrate for just causes in Guyana and at UG. It is against this background I was livid, shaking and emotional when I read about the disrespect Lewis was showing to the UGWU and the other union at UG.

I wanted to save my friendship with Lewis so two years ago I called him on the phone to denounce what the TUC was doing at UG through its appointee, Ivor English. It was one of the roughest denunciations I was engaged in. My decibels were out of control. Lewis was unmoved and supportive of what English was doing. That was the end of me and Lewis. I could not keep a friendship with someone who so set out to destroy a union I worked tirelessly to preserve.

When the bauxite bosses again violated their workers’ rights a few months ago, Lewis called me on the phone to request a critique. I agreed to do it and told him he had my unconditional solidarity but I didn’t want to write anything at Lewis’ request because by that time, I no longer had any respect for him. He called again. I never did the column although I was in solidarity with the bauxite workers. Lewis will continue with his betrayal, recklessness and dictatorship at as the TUC’s GS because the unions in Guyana are not prepared to remove him, an action long overdue.

Lewis has no respect for rules and principles and he has done enormous damage to trade union unity. FITUG will never merge with the TUC once Lewis is there. That was told to me by FITUG leaders and leaders of the TUC.  The government will never restore Critchlow’s subvention once Lewis is there. If you look at Lewis’ record it is frightening. One – he runs a one-man show at the TUC and the Critchlow College. Two – he decides who becomes TUC president. When he can’t control them, he undermines them. He did this to Gillian Burton and literally forced her into the arms of the PPP.

Three – he is responsible for the complete disdain the Caribbean Congress of Labour has for the TUC in Guyana because of his dictatorial rule there when he was its general-secretary. I would ask readers to Google the controversy. Four – the TUC rules stipulate that the GS and the President must not come from the same union. Lewis is from the bauxite union so is Leslie Gonsalves. He made Gonsalves the TUC president in defiance of the constitution.

Five – he decides who should be registrar of the college. He decides who should be the lecturers. This led to a big fallout with Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine and Aubrey Norton. I don’t think Mr. Norton is on speaking terms with Lewis. Six – at the last May Day rally, he denounced the no-confidence vote. That was getting into politics and insensitive since many unions support and supported the vote. I would suggest to the unions, not to leave the TUC but agitate for the removal of Lewis. He has unfortunately become the opposite of what he was. The unions’ letter tells it all.

Yours faithfully,

Frederick Kissoon  

 

Copyright © 2017 Stabroek News. All rights reserved.

Bai Vish, don’t underestimate the Labba. He is onto to something here. 

Word is that Freddie, Glen Lall and the New Nation man Adam Harris are not in the best terms right now.

I heard through the grapevines that Freddie will be a candidate for the Buckman party.

Hey Hey Hey

 Freddie was all good to the Blacks from all strata of life when he ceaselessly criticized the PPP and anything 'Indian'. He was welcomed into the strongholds of the PNC and feted with pecarri pepperpot and all sorts of freebies and had rantings with some of the 'Freedumb Fightas' just because of his rantings. What praise he gives to Hoyte is all water wash. Freddie praised Hoyte on numerous occasions, but he mentioned the biggest rigging done in 1985 to put Hoyte in power only once or twice. I wonder if he now will be welcomed into those strong holds.

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