DTL dismisses workers for partaking in picket exercise; others strike
The Demerara Timbers Limited (DTL) on Tuesday, October 04, 2016, dismissed eight workers allegedly for taking part in a picketing exercise with some other workers outside the Company’s Head Office on (Monday) October 03, 2016.
According to the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU), the workers were handed dismissal letters for partaking in the picketing exercise which called for an increase in wages.
The workers called for the company to engage in negotiations with GAWU since their rates-of-pay have not been increased since 2014, after the negotiations between the Union and the Company for 2015 remains inconclusive thus far.
According to GAWU, the Company’s decision prompted the majority of the workforce at the DTL Mabura Hill operations to take strike action on Wednesday (October 05, 2016) as they expressed solidarity with their dismissed compatriots and to express their strong condemnation of the Company’s decision.
“The decision by the Company must be seen as yet another anti-worker and anti-Union act which is occurring rather frequently these days. Moreover, we wish to point out that the actions of DTL is a flagrant violation of Section Eight of the Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act which prohibits the dismissal of workers for their participation in industrial action. This right is further reinforced by the Constitution which provides the right for workers to engage in strike and protest action” the Union said.
GAWU deemed the move “a clear attempt to intimidate the workers and use extra-legal measures to deny workers their just claims for pay increase”.
In this regard, it calls on the Government and more so, the Ministry of Social Protection, to ensure that the Company observes the laws, conventions and norms of the country and that the dismissed workers be reinstated in their jobs forthwith.
News Room contacted DTL to confirm the dismissal claims, however, we were told that the relevant authority is not in office to comment on the matter.