Labour and productivity in Guyana

Declining Participation

Unions in Guyana are not as strong as they used to be and many of the institutions that supported workers have either been weakened or otherwise undermined.  The result of the labour movement being in disarray is reflected in the diminished growth in union membership and declining participation in labour events in the country. The ineffectiveness of unions is also seen in the protracted, and in some cases, unresolved disputes with employers.  The important role that unions played in the creation and development of an independent Guyana and their value in improving workers’ rights and living conditions seem lost on an increasingly apathetic population. One cannot discount the deleterious impact that migration has had on the decline of the labour movement in Guyana, but the belief that unions were just there to fight colonial rule seems to have taken hold in Guyana.  Yet, Guyana might have a labour problem that is in need of urgent attention.

Flaring up

Indeed, industrial disputes have been flaring up frequently in the sugar industry, except that those frequent work stoppages have not led to violent confrontation with the highly unprofessional and indisciplined Guyana Police Force.  That some union leaders would bury their heads in the sand and claim that there was no corruption in the country is further evidence that some labour unions are no longer interested in fighting for workers and their rights.   …..To continue reading, login or subscribe now.

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