In May Day message:
President says strikes must be avoided
Guyana Chronicle
May 1, 2002

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PRESIDENT Bharrat Jagdeo has said that strikes and other forms of industrial conflict must be avoided to allow reforms and more production and productivity.

He made the call in his message for May Day being observed today.

Here is the text of the President's message:

"On behalf of the Government of Guyana and on my own behalf, I extend to all Guyanese fraternal greetings and best wishes as we celebrate May Day 2002.

Guyana like the rest of the world is experiencing some economic setbacks as a result of the effects of globalisation and recession in major economies in the rest of the world, including that of the United States of America. However, through prudent management, we have been able to continue economic progress and sustain and improve the real wages of workers in this country.

This is in sharp contrast to the wages and salaries cut, which are constantly being experienced by workers in several multinational corporations around the world.

My Government has also refrained from any form of significant retrenchment in the Public Sector, contrary to much speculation that this would occur. We have also created a modern legislative framework to ensure that justice and fair play prevail at every work environment.

Much emphasis is also being placed by my government on the issue of Occupational Health and Safety at the places of work, while workers can exercise their legal right of belonging to a trade union of their choice.

While we seek to defend and protect workers interests, we expect as government a clear commitment from workers and their organisations to rededicate themselves and to examine the possibilities of enhancing productivity at work.

Workers should also constantly review and cooperate with their employers on the method of doing things, bearing in mind that outmoded methods of production and old-fashioned procedures will have to make way for competitiveness in production in keeping with the demands of a globalised world.

Every industry, business entity and service organisation must be conscious of current management trends and encourage and foster positive changes. There is also a greater need for employers, employees and other social partners to work together and to bring to an end unnecessary conflict and foster collaboration in development instead.

Strikes and other forms of industrial conflict must be avoided to pave the way for comprehensive reform and increased production and productivity.

Our nation is too underdeveloped to encourage wanton waste or loss in production as a result of unnecessary withdrawal of labour. Developed countries have found ways to improve industrial harmony, so has a developing country like Barbados.

We in Guyana, have procedures to resolve conflicts comparable to any developed country, yet we have failed as a collective group to utilise these procedures in a meaningful way.

I therefore appeal to all Guyanese to make this May Day an opportunity for greater commitment to the development of our beautiful country.

With your cooperation and commitment, working hand in hand with my government, I see a bright future for all Guyanese.

Let us rededicate our energies on this May Day towards the task of nation building and collective harmony.

Once more, happy May Day to all our workers."