CCWU to undertake restructuring exercise this year
- Culbard
Stabroek News
January 7, 2004

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The Clerical and Commercial Workers Union (CCWU) is to continue its fight to ensure workers at the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and Guyana Telev-ision Company Ltd (GTV) are retained and says it will be restructuring the union.

The union is also keen on resolving all unsettled industrial relations disputes left over from 2003 while restructuring and re-organising.

The union in its new year's message has also resolved to engage certain unions in merger talks while officially launching its hotel and restaurant workers council with a view to have such workers moving together to improve their lot.

The CCWU is also pledging to pursue the formation of other workers' councils e.g. insurance, media and manufacturing.

Reflecting on 2003 CCWU General Secretary Grantley Culbard said, "The year was a very difficult one for us as we fought to temper the aggression of some employers. This aggression appeared to be fuelled by the division that exists in the ranks of the Guyana trades union movement. We must not lose heart however but continue to focus on preserving trade union and workers' rights."

According to Culbard, the major conflict faced in 2003 occurred at Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited and the state-owned media establishments.

It was only at Demerara Mutual that the CCWU was forced to take industrial action in furtherance of a wage claim on behalf of members there, which in the end was settled amicably.

Culbard sees 2004 as being a very difficult one for both the CCWU and the trade union movement. He however acknowledged that if the movement is to overcome the problems then all concerned must accept that there is need to do things differently. "We are going to feel greater discomforts as globalisation takes a firmer root in the national economy. This demands an urgent preparation led by the social partners to work assiduously to realise a social contract. Such contract would help all of us achieve some gains in a harsh economic environment."

According to Culbard, the interest of the workers must be paramount because since without their brains and muscles, not a single wheel could turn. "Where there is no vision the people perish. The vision of the leadership of the CCWU is the achievement of a united and excellent trade union movement in Guyana working harder to improve further the quality of life of all Guyanese, through participatory representation."

Culbard said that the human resource is one of our most precious and it must be carefully managed. "In-dustrial relations is an ongoing exercise between equal partners who understand that decisions reached by way of collective bargaining can only be sustained when they are arrived at in a climate of trust and mutual respect."