Private sector bodies must ‘step up’ advocacy on workplace safety, environmental issues – union head

As oil and gas sector looms large…

Lincoln Lewis

General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Lincoln Lewis has told the Stabroek Business that the time is long overdue for the country’s leading Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to “publicly and vociferously identify with environmental and health and safety issues in the workplace as an integral part of their public pronouncements on important national issues.”

“It may or may not have occurred to a great many people that the major umbrella business organisations rarely if ever make public pronouncements that express concern over specific workplace environmental and safety and health issues whenever these become matters of public concern. Oddly enough, their silence persists in an environment where a great many of the most blatant workplace safety and health transgressions and other environmental shortcomings that occur in the country are to be found in private sector workplaces,” Lewis disclosed.

The veteran trade unionist told the Stabroek Business that while labour continued to receive complaints about health-threatening instances of safety and transgressions “in factories and workplaces,” nothing is heard from the private sector bodies even though sometimes I get the impression that affected workers suffer in silence because of a fear – real or imagined, of employer victimisation.”

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