GAWU General Secretary Seepaul Narine has been elected president of the Caribbean Region of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations (IUF) at a meeting held last week in Barbados.
According to a press release from the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union, Narine was elected at the IUF Regional Conference. Other executives are secretary Clifton Grant of Jamaica; vice presidents Veronica Griffith of Barbados and Ronna Dene Burgess of Bermuda and committee members Bert Patterson of Grenada of Grenada and Cindy Blanchard of Antigua and Barbuda.
The six-member committee headed by Narine is tasked, for the next five years, with organising and coordinating activities including educational work which is set by the IUF among the membership of the IUF affiliated unions. The Caribbean affiliates are from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. GAWU said the IUF is an international Federation of Trade Unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations, the preparation and manufacturing of food and beverages, hotels, restaurant and catering services and all stages of tobacco processing. Founded in 1920, the IUF which is based in Geneva, Switzerland comprises 336 trade unions in 120 countries representing a combined membership of over 12 million workers.
Similar regional organisations to the Caribbean Regional Organisation of the IUF exist in Africa, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America. “The guiding principle of the IUF since its formation has been international labour solidarity,” the release said.