For the first time in the history of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), a woman has been elected as president of the umbrella body.
On Friday evening, following the conclusion of the 2nd GTUC Triennial Congress Gillian Burton was elected president, succeeding immediate past president, Andrew Garnett.
Burton is also president of the Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers Union. Also, too, for the first time ever in the union’s history a woman was elected as the treasurer. Marlin Griffith of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union was elected the new union treasurer.
Meanwhile, following the conclusion of the congress the union movement approved a number of resolutions that are expected to see a better standard of living for the working class. These resolutions include having persons at all levels join in the fight for a real living wage.
The movement also agreed that full-time employment is the way out of poverty and as such the movement must commit to popularise the “decent work” agenda of the International Labour Organization and to ensure its realization.
It was also declared that the movement will direct all efforts locally and internationally to achieve equity and justice in the system, with unobstructed, non-discriminatory access to resources. The union also took the stand that it will demand an end to the “unscrupulous plunder” of Guyana’s forests and “environmental vandalism.” The delegates agreed that there needs to be transparency and accountability in the management of the forests and mines.
It was also agreed that all exploration and exploitation contracts entered into with timber, mining and oil companies must be subjected to parliamentary scrutiny and validated by a weighted majority of the National Assembly.
The movement also agreed that it will lobby for the government to honour the GTUC/GOG March 8, 2000 agreement by re-engaging the process of making land available for workers’ housing.
The TUC also reiterated its call for the repeal of the Value Added Tax. The movement in its resolution also vowed that it will resist all attempts by the Government to weaken the labour movement.