NAACIE boycotted May Day over disunity
Stabroek News
May 8, 2004

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The National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE) said it decided not to participate in Saturday's May Day march and rallies citing disunity in the labour movement.

General President of NAACIE, Kenneth Joseph said that the union took the decision after recognising that it would have been misleading the workers into believing that unity among the trade unions exists.

In a press release on Wednes-day, Joseph stated that NAACIE wanted to make it clear that its reason for being out from under the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is because of that body's undemocratic way of operating. NAACIE added that it blamed not only the authors of this behaviour in the GTUC but also those who encourage this by turning a blind eye.

"We are aware that each worker in Guyana recognises the benefits that could be had if there were unity in the trade union movement. We are also aware that they are willing to work to forge this unity," Joseph said.

NAACIE said that it is not prepared to re-enter the GTUC until that umbrella body commits itself to democracy and fairness and retakes its place as a national workers representative body. It must also recognise that the workers who pay dues are of all colours, races, religions, political persuasions and creeds.

NAACIE said that the GTUC must respect the rights of those workers and commit itself to having only genuine trade unions in its membership. It added that each delegate of each and every union should have similar rights to be elected to any executive position in that movement.

According to NAACIE, accountability must be a priority of the GTUC and each of its affiliates. NAACIE blamed the entire GTUC Central Executive Council for the plight of the nation's workers "at this time of attacks on labour nationally and internationally."