GAWU, NAACIE and Britain’s General Union (GMB) are collaborating on a year-long project aimed at equipping 180 union representatives with five pieces of labour legislation.
According to a press release the project is titled ‘Promoting Legal Rights and Building Union Capacity in Guyana’. It started in June and is set to end March 2011. The training will address the Trade Union Recognition Act, The Trade Union Act, The Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act, The Occupational Health and Safety Act and The Prevention of Discrimination Act and “some trade union related subjects.”
According to the release the objective of the training is to provide participants with a practical understanding of the aforementioned legislation and other subjects with a view to enhancing the ability of shop stewards or representative in conducting purposeful representation on workers behalf. Most of the participants are shop stewards or potential shop stewards, the release said.
Other subjects to be covered are the history of NAACIE and GAWU, the role of shop stewards, collective labour agreements, gender and trade union work, HIV/AIDS in the workplace, workers ideology and strategy, capitalism, online history of Guyana, the structure of the Guyanese economy and globalisation and its impact on workers.
A session will also be held on the “Situation and Outlook of the Guyana Sugar Corporation.” A company representative is expected to use the opportunity to identify Guysuco’s main challenges and the steps taken to revitalise the industry.
The release said six groups of participants have been identified and they are expected to work as a team through sets of sessions (A and B) which would be held for one week. A group of participants from Session A will attend classes again as participants for Session B allowing an interval of three months.
The project, which has gotten support from the British Trade Union Congress and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Association Global Sugar Programme, is as a result of ongoing sugar networking activities. Over the past six years these activities have helped to restart direct solidarity links between the GMB, GAWU and NAACIE. The GMB organises workers at the Tate and Lyle refinery in London.