Jan 28,2018.

Source

Although stressing that there is “no rift” between the PPP and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU), Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday criticised the cooperative stance taken by union leader Komal Chand following a recent meeting with government on restructuring the sugar industry and managing the impact on workers.

“This is a government—How can you find them genuine, when they have just sent home 7,000 of your members? But this didn’t come from GAWU,” Jagdeo said, while arguing that the APNU+AFC administration was using GAWU and the National Association of Agricultural , Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) for public relations purposes.

During a response to questions at a press conference yesterday, Jagdeo took issue with a statement made by Chand, which was reported by the Ministry of the Presidency after the January 19th meeting.

The meeting was organised after approxmately 4,763 workers were severed by GuySuCo at the end of December last year and the government faced severe criticism for not having options in place for them or evaluating the social impact of the job losses on their communities. It has also been pilloried for shutting the unions out from the decision-making and over its unpreparedness to pay severance immediately to all the workers.

“We have listened and we are satisfied that you are concerned with the issues. We are ready to work along with the Government to explore the options and we are going to give our best to see the situation out. You are right that there are no winners in this and we are willing… We are certainly pleased with this meeting. This is the first meeting [for the year] we have been able to have with the Government and we believe that the meeting took place in a positive atmosphere and we recognise that the Government itself pays attention and I think that it is a good beginning. That is certainly important ground rule that we dialogue, that we talk and try to find an answer for the way forward. We are pleased. From GAWU, we are very pleased and it spells out that the future engagement are in the interest of the workers, the industry and the country,” Chand, who is also a serving Member of Parliament for the opposition PPP/C, was quoted as saying by the ministry.

Jagdeo read Chand’s comments during the press conference yesterday.

“I have issues, personal issues with these sort of statements, because it means that all that has gone before… how many times have we tried to engage this government or tried to ask for studies to be done? GAWU itself put forward a proposal. They ignored the proposal. They ignored their own [Commission of Inquiry], ignored the recommendations of the consultations we had, ignored our request for it to be debated at the Economic Services Committee, sent home the people callously in the middle of Christmas and not paying them their severance and you find them still a good partner to talk with?” he said.

Jagdeo stated that based on the statement released by ministry, he was concerned that the government is using the union for public relations purposes. “…Government got a huge PR thing out of this,” he stressed.

He said that after all that has happened, he was amazed that GAWU sees government “as a good partner to talk with,” even though almost half of its membership was decimated and left with no promise of help in the future.

“The unions came away with nothing and the government came out with a wonderful statement… big photo op,” Jagdeo said, while questioning the future that is being talked about.

He said that he has huge issues with this and not the unions. He insisted that the PPP will continue to support GAWU. “You have a lot of good, strong, young, bright leaders of GAWU who will have a great future in building that union and keeping it relevant,” he noted.

‘No rift’

Jagdeo told reporters that the PPP has always supported the unions. To reiterate this point, he said recently he spoke at Enterprise during a meeting with retrenched sugar workers and GAWU’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine was by his side.

“So the PPP will always support GAWU and I don’t know about this conflict, the contrived thing. I saw Chronicle has been pushing this issue about a conflict between the PPP and GAWU… there is nothing of the sort,” he said, while stressing that there is “no rift” between his party and the union.

He distanced the party from a recent Guyana Times report, which said sugar workers were calling on Chand to step down. He did, however, say that the same support the party showed to the union, would not be extended to individuals. He added that the sugar workers pay their dues, determine their leadership and are free to call for their removal at any time. “That is not the PPP’s business,” he said.

Jagdeo also bashed government for meeting with laid off sugar workers in Region Four and Region Six on Friday, saying that the meetings offered nothing new and no hope for those affected. “Almost the entire AFC visited the sugar belt to continue to lie to sugar workers and to earn their keep in the government,” he said before questioning the usefulness of such engagements.

“None of the issues that were raised by the team, large teams that went to these estates was anything new or brought any further benefits to the sugar workers,” he stressed.

He accused government of substituting public relations for real action when it comes to the sugar industry. “It is naive to believe that the sugar workers will receive any significant help from this government,” he added, while pointing out that the president’s recent announcement of a restructuring of the Guyana Defence Force does not mirror earlier comments that there is no money in the treasury.

He said that the revamp will cost government billion of dollars. “So you can’t find $5 billion for the sugar workers … [but] he has just announced a multi-billion dollar future investment programme for buying air crafts and all of this stuff for the military,” he added.Jagdeo told reporters that the PPP has always supported the unions. To reiterate this point, he said recently he spoke at Enterprise during a meeting with retrenched sugar workers and GAWU’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine was by his side.

“So the PPP will always support GAWU and I don’t know about this conflict, the contrived thing. I saw Chronicle has been pushing this issue about a conflict between the PPP and GAWU… there is nothing of the sort,” he said, while stressing that there is “no rift” between his party and the union.

He distanced the party from a recent Guyana Times report, which said sugar workers were calling on Chand to step down. He did, however, say that the same support the party showed to the union, would not be extended to individuals. He added that the sugar workers pay their dues, determine their leadership and are free to call for their removal at any time. “That is not the PPP’s business,” he said.

Jagdeo also bashed government for meeting with laid off sugar workers in Region Four and Region Six on Friday, saying that the meetings offered nothing new and no hope for those affected. “Almost the entire AFC visited the sugar belt to continue to lie to sugar workers and to earn their keep in the government,” he said before questioning the usefulness of such engagements.

“None of the issues that were raised by the team, large teams that went to these estates was anything new or brought any further benefits to the sugar workers,” he stressed.

He accused government of substituting public relations for real action when it comes to the sugar industry. “It is naive to believe that the sugar workers will receive any significant help from this government,” he added, while pointing out that the president’s recent announcement of a restructuring of the Guyana Defence Force does not mirror earlier comments that there is no money in the treasury.

He said that the revamp will cost government billion of dollars. “So you can’t find $5 billion for the sugar workers … [but] he has just announced a multi-billion dollar future investment programme for buying air crafts and all of this stuff for the military,” he added.Jagdeo told reporters that the PPP has always supported the unions. To reiterate this point, he said recently he spoke at Enterprise during a meeting with retrenched sugar workers and GAWU’s General Secretary Seepaul Narine was by his side.

“So the PPP will always support GAWU and I don’t know about this conflict, the contrived thing. I saw Chronicle has been pushing this issue about a conflict between the PPP and GAWU… there is nothing of the sort,” he said, while stressing that there is “no rift” between his party and the union.

He distanced the party from a recent Guyana Times report, which said sugar workers were calling on Chand to step down. He did, however, say that the same support the party showed to the union, would not be extended to individuals. He added that the sugar workers pay their dues, determine their leadership and are free to call for their removal at any time. “That is not the PPP’s business,” he said.

Jagdeo also bashed government for meeting with laid off sugar workers in Region Four and Region Six on Friday, saying that the meetings offered nothing new and no hope for those affected. “Almost the entire AFC visited the sugar belt to continue to lie to sugar workers and to earn their keep in the government,” he said before questioning the usefulness of such engagements.

“None of the issues that were raised by the team, large teams that went to these estates was anything new or brought any further benefits to the sugar workers,” he stressed.

He accused government of substituting public relations for real action when it comes to the sugar industry. “It is naive to believe that the sugar workers will receive any significant help from this government,” he added, while pointing out that the president’s recent announcement of a restructuring of the Guyana Defence Force does not mirror earlier comments that there is no money in the treasury.

He said that the revamp will cost government billion of dollars. “So you can’t find $5 billion for the sugar workers … [but] he has just announced a multi-billion dollar future investment programme for buying air crafts and all of this stuff for the military,” he added.

Original Post

Jagdeo has not taken the right approach in dealing with this issue. It points to a lack of communication and coordination between the PPP and GAWU in terms of how to approach the whole isue of closure of estates and ramification for workers that GAWU represent. Furthermore, any dissatisfaction with what Komal did or said should have been discussed privately, instead of sicing the Guyana times columnists on him. 

In this time of crisis in the sugar belt, a united front is needed and to bring the issue into the public domain ensures that there is a loss of focus and weakens the struggle against the closure of estates.

Zed posted:

Jagdeo has not taken the right approach in dealing with this issue. It points to a lack of communication and coordination between the PPP and GAWU in terms of how to approach the whole isue of closure of estates and ramification for workers that GAWU represent. Furthermore, any dissatisfaction with what Komal did or said should have been discussed privately, instead of sicing the Guyana times columnists on him. 

In this time of crisis in the sugar belt, a united front is needed and to bring the issue into the public domain ensures that there is a loss of focus and weakens the struggle against the closure of estates.

That's Jagdeo for you,he thinks he is know it all and have the answers.

He will surely bring the PPP down,time for him to take backseat.

QUOTE FROM REPORT ABOVE: “The unions came away with nothing and the government came out with a wonderful statement… big photo op,” Jagdeo said.

And, today's Guyana Times quotes Mr Jagdeo as saying: "What is it if not a PR exercise? We’re not going to show up for a meeting to satisfy Granger’s PR when they don’t mean anything. That is what happened here.”

The Opposition Leader is absolutely right. Komal Chand should have emulated Mr Jagdeo who showed up three times at State House for meetings with Granger and came away with James Patterson as GECOM Chairman.

Did Jagdeo satisfy Granger's PR? Not so, according to these photos:

Image result for granger meets jagdeo

DISCLAIMER: Gilbakka is a PPP supporter but not an uncritical yesman. I believe that Mr Jagdeo is being unfair to Komal Chand.

 

Django posted:
Zed posted:

Jagdeo has not taken the right approach in dealing with this issue. It points to a lack of communication and coordination between the PPP and GAWU in terms of how to approach the whole isue of closure of estates and ramification for workers that GAWU represent. Furthermore, any dissatisfaction with what Komal did or said should have been discussed privately, instead of sicing the Guyana times columnists on him. 

In this time of crisis in the sugar belt, a united front is needed and to bring the issue into the public domain ensures that there is a loss of focus and weakens the struggle against the closure of estates.

That's Jagdeo for you,he thinks he is know it all and have the answers.

He will surely bring the PPP down,time for him to take backseat.

His arrogance is his Achilles heel!   This bully approach caused a lot of issues with Ramotar in the last days.  Thiyis why Carter walked out of the meeting with Ramotar!

its his way or the highway!

Komal is in order to discuss solutions with the government of the day for the workers. 

Because of the long term relationship between PPP and GAWU ... who knows if discussion was done between the two and Jagdeo was against such meeting.

Jagdeo arrogance is proven again how vidictive he by trashing Komal in public . The same he did to Yesu Persaud. 

Dave posted:

Komal is in order to discuss solutions with the government of the day for the workers. 

Because of the long term relationship between PPP and GAWU ... who knows if discussion was done between the two and Jagdeo was against such meeting.

Jagdeo arrogance is proven again how vidictive he by trashing Komal in public . The same he did to Yesu Persaud. 

That's the man traits,thought you knew that.

Bharat Jagdeo is RIGHT/CORRECT. Komal is thinking of his own survival a, where was his fight for the Sugar Workers, he was rolled over by the PNC and now he is trying to save himself.

The Sugar Industry will soon go up in smoke or be in selected PNC Buddies hands. So Komal is taking his share of the Pie and run.

 

Who knows, MAYBE he attended the School for Namakaram and Crabdaags!!  We know of one who graduated at the top of the class!!!

Komal senses the end is near, with dwindling union dues his salary will also reduce. Say if Granger should throw him a bone ,he may take a bite. At this point GAWU cannot do much, their big weapon {STRIKE} is no longer effective and may not get support from the remaining workers. Jagdeo is telling it the way it is.

Komal wears two important hats. 1. Head of GAWU. 2.  PPP Member of Parliament.  That's two salaries for many many years.   GAWU collects millions of dollars in union dues.  They should be helping the workers more.  He is in his 70s, a nice age to retire.  PPP might be looking for younger, more energetic people who are current with issues like oil, international banking, etc.

I wish Komal well.  He served his country with distinction.

kp posted:

Komal senses the end is near, with dwindling union dues his salary will also reduce. Say if Granger should throw him a bone ,he may take a bite. At this point GAWU cannot do much, their big weapon {STRIKE} is no longer effective and may not get support from the remaining workers. Jagdeo is telling it the way it is.

Time for Komal to hang up his gloves. He made millions with Union dues.

Looks like the PNC bought him out already or is close to doing so. Granger will definitely throw him a bone like he did to Moses and dirty Indians will bite.

Kudos to Jagdeo.

Bibi Haniffa posted:

Komal wears two important hats. 1. Head of GAWU. 2.  PPP Member of Parliament.  That's two salaries for many many years.   GAWU collects millions of dollars in union dues.  They should be helping the workers more.  He is in his 70s, a nice age to retire.  PPP might be looking for younger, more energetic people who are current with issues like oil, international banking, etc.

I wish Komal well.  He served his country with distinction.

Well said but knowing some people (Moses come to mind), he will not refuse a PNC bone. I heard that is happening in the background as we speak.

Jagdeo took the bull by the horns and that is why I like Jagdeo's style of politics.

Time for Komal to go.

yuji22 posted:
Bibi Haniffa posted:

Komal wears two important hats. 1. Head of GAWU. 2.  PPP Member of Parliament.  That's two salaries for many many years.   GAWU collects millions of dollars in union dues.  They should be helping the workers more.  He is in his 70s, a nice age to retire.  PPP might be looking for younger, more energetic people who are current with issues like oil, international banking, etc.

I wish Komal well.  He served his country with distinction.

Well said but knowing some people (Moses come to mind), he will not refuse a PNC bone. I heard that is happening in the background as we speak.

Jagdeo took the bull by the horns and that is why I like Jagdeo's style of politics.

Time for Komal to go.

Imagine a Union Leader lost 7,000 jobs under his watch and then showed up in the Gov't's office to discuss THEIR way forward.  If the PNC union leader had lost 7,000 jobs under a PPP govt all hell would break loose.  Let's see if he bites the PNC bone.

skeldon_man posted:

Was Komal responsible for hastening the demise of the sugar industry by encouraging the industry strikes?

At the end of the day the sugar industry collapsed because of dwindling market demand worldwide.  It's more of an economic issue than a political issue.  Both parties sought political mileage out of the economic problem.  

I do believe Komal had the best interest of the sugar workers at heart and with limited solutions to prices and labor issues he used strikes as a solution.  It didn't work in the long term but didn't hasten the demise of the sugar industry.

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