‘My government has time and again expressed concerns over the investments made before the PPP/Civic took office. From various quarters came severe criticisms and accusations that my government is not in favour of foreign investments. I want to repeat that our developing economy needs more investments to come. I also want to repeat that when the investors come, we will ensure that they respect our people, our laws and our environment’ (Cheddi Jagan, 1994).
As I have pointed out before, in about 1994, well before the passing of the Trade Union Recognition Act, when there were signs that the management of Omai Gold Mine might have been having qualms about trade union recognition, Cheddi Jagan, on a trip to its interior site, made it quite clear to a general meeting of the management and workers that trade recognition was non-negotiable (SN: 27/09/2017). That we have retrogressed from this firm position is without doubt, for a decade since the present dispute between the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union and the Bauxite Company of Guyana (a local subsidiary of the Russian company, RUSAL) began, it remains unresolved.
Indeed, now that elections are to be held, the government is busying itself with RUSAL, the establishment of the long-promised TV station at Linden, etc. At the 2006 national elections, the people of Region 10 demonstrated their capacity to punish the PNCR, and the present regime, now under all manner of other pressure (even the United States government, without giving much comfort to the PPP/C, reminding it that much of its value resides in its democratic credentials), has been forced into action! ….