The Guyana Bauxite & General Workers Union (GB&GWU) yesterday said it recorded 93% of the votes cast to win the recognition poll over the National Mines Workers Union at the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI).
A press release from the GB&GWU said that the poll was conducted by the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board and was free of incident. The union says the poll came after repeated efforts by the BCGI to impose unions or workers’ committee on the employees and the eight-year refusal of the company to deal with the GB&GWU. The union said it has been pressing the case of the transgressing of workers’ constitutional rights under Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (Article 147), and the violating of Section 23(1) of the Trade Union Recognition Act (1997) with the domestic and international communities.
According to the GB&GWU release, the union, which is headed by President Leslie Gonsalves and General Secretary Lincoln Lewis, is calling on the BCGI to honour the Laws of Guyana and to treat the union according to said laws.
Failing to do so will constitute a breach of the law and disrespect for the sovereignty of Guyana and the workers of Guyana, it argued. The union is also calling on the Government, with authority vested by way of recognition, to cause the BCGI to respect the will and the rights of the workers.
Of immediate priority, according to the GB&GWU press release, is BCGI adding its signature to the tripartite document to give effect to the promised tax waiver on all premium hours worked, i.e. overtime, Saturday and Sunday work, which was signed by the Government and GB&GWU last year.
The next action the union would like to see taken is the honouring of the Vacation Benefit and Holiday Pay as prescribed in the Collective Labour Agreement.