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Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow remembered at wreath laying ceremony

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Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence joined the Guyana Trades Union Congress and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana at a wreath laying ceremony in honour of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow at the forecourt of the Public Building.
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The event was hosted under the theme, “Unity of the Working Class-Essential and Necessary”.
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Among those speaking at the event were Ms. Coretta McDonald, General Secretary of G.T.U, Norwell Hinds representing youths of the GTUC, Katty Fowler Vice President of the WAC, Mr. Seepaul Naraine Treasure of FITUG & General Secretary of GAWU, and Mr. Norris Witter President of the GWU and Vice President of GTUC.
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Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow was born in Georgetown on the 18 December 1884. His father, James Nathaniel Critchlow, had emigrated from Barbados and was employed as a wharf foreman by the Booker Group of Companies, while his mother Julia Elizabeth Critchlow, born Daniels, was originally from the Essequibo coast.
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During the strikes in 1917, he represented the interest of waterfront workers in collective bargaining, and by then was regarded as the leader of all waterfront workers. He became even more popular when he helped to secure increase wages for them.

 

 

 

In the 1917-1918 period, Critchlow led a petition for an 8-hour day. He was pressured by the Chamber of Commerce to withdraw his name from the petition, after all the other petitioners were forced to do so, but he obstinately refused. He was immediately fired from his job and blacklisted from obtaining employment, and he had to depend on assistance from close friends for sustenance.

 

 

 

 

Critchlow was employed on a full time basis by the union, and he never stopped being a spokesman for the workers, and publicised their grievances and demanded improved working conditions and better wages for them.

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