President David Granger last evening urged the trade union movement in Guyana to develop a new model of trade unionism so that they can remain relevant in the changing labour market.
Speaking at the fourth triennial delegates’ congress for the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Granger told union leaders that with the changing structure of labour the membership of unions is decreasing and negatively affecting both the capability and credibility of trade unions.
“The Hammer and Sickle are no longer the tools of the working class. You need a new model to restore workers’ confidence and enhance the capacity of the trade union.
We need a model that takes into account the change in the job market,” Granger said.
He explained that with only 50% of workers globally being engaged in salaried employment unions have to acknowledge and account for a shift to part time and single self-employment.
According to Granger the combative culture of the old union model has outlived its usefulness as more and more people are working for themselves or family or at home and don’t need unions anymore. This new model therefore requires a reevaluation of trade union organizations one which thinks not of the past but of a future where workers need to be educated and skilled if they are to function effectively.
The congress which is being held under the theme “Labour Policies, a prerequisite in Creating a Green Economy” continues today at the Joseph Pollydore Hall, Critchlow Labour College, Woolford Avenue, Thomas Lands.