GWMO supports countrywide protest but prefer giving diplomatic solution a chance
By Mark Murray
The Guyana Women Miners Organization (GWMO) has signalled its full support of the current position by the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) to stage a countrywide protest if their concerns are not addressed by President David Granger within two weeks.
“Before we move to protest action we would try our best, to find a diplomatic solution,” said GWMO’s President Urica Primus.
According to Primus, from the body’s perspective, there is a sense “a willingness for the agencies involved from the government to actually listen to the concerns of the miners and to successfully work on a way forward.”
The GWMO President said the proposed taxes, more so, the tributors tax along with the new regulations that will soon be placed on miners, is what she believes has prompted the latest action by the GGDMA.
Ms. Primus told News Room its membership have been “outlining the impact in which this would have on not only their lives but that of their families and communities because the majority of the women who have moved into the mining sector are single parents.”
“It is difficult for us to subtract 10% from the worker’s salary and in many cases, we outlined to both the Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministers of Finance and Natural Resources (that) when miners serving to implement that action, it often times be met with violence or your entire work force leave,” she said.
Primus was firm in saying that if there is a case whereby the authorities have no consideration or no empathy in addressing the concerns of miners then protest would be the next route, a position GWMO is prepared to fully endorse.
However, the GWMO said, “if they are calling for us to meet together and work then we can see where we can compromise and they will also have to be willing to compromise in areas that it simply can’t work”.
Earlier this month several meeting were held with the GGDMA and in some cases the GWMO by the Ministry of Finance and Natural Resources Ministry on the proposed taxes and regulations for the sector.