GAWU President Komal Chand has warned that some persons and groups are using the name of the late former President Cheddi Jagan in their bid to undermine the working class.
Speaking at yesterday’s observance at Port Mourant to mark the 15th death anniversary of Dr Jagan, Chand said:
“Cde Cheddi Jagan’s vision has only been potentially realized. Many of his ideas are still applicable today. They must serve as an inspiration and around which to mobilise as we continue the journey to a brighter, happier future. We must be mindful too that there are still persons and groups who serve anti-working people’s ends just as in the time of Cde Cheddi. They have different names and faces now-a-days. They wear different masks and the methods used may vary. Some even use, glibly and conveniently, the name of Cde Cheddi to disguise their true intentions. But their objectives are clear. They seek to weaken the workers’ genuine organization; they encourage division in the ranks of the working-class and put workers against workers. Occasionally, they may use their manipulative trickery with the help of a few misguided workers. But GAWU’s experiences over the years show that such fly-by-night groups are not motivated by the working-class overall interests but only as its self-promotion furthering an individual or group’s political or trade union ambitions. Workers should not be duped. As Cde Cheddi would often say – in our unity lies our strength.”
Chand called no names but in the last two years there had been frequent confrontations between the GAWU head and the then government. Matters came to a head when there was a threat to begin proceedings to de-recognize GAWU following strikes in the sugar industry. The threat was later withdrawn after an outcry from the union and others in the ruling PPP/C.