As Guyana observes Labour Day on May 01, President Irfaan Ali has joined in the celebration of workers’ achievement and said that while life is poised to get better for the working class across the country, unity is being imperiled.
In a statement, Dr. Ali reasoned that the ongoing divisions in the country’s trade union movement were responsible for this growing disunity among workers.
“Discord within and between unions will only add to the disunity. The fissures within the trade union movement can only be mended by addressing their root causes,” the President said in his Labour Day message.
He said in no uncertain terms that he looks forward to working with the trade union movement, in a spirit of respect rather than rancour, hope rather than hostility and cooperation instead of confrontation.
“Life will get better for our workers and their families. Guyana will have more revenues. But the benefits derived from such revenues can only be secured if we are prepared to work together rather than against each other,” the statement noted.
Dr. Ali said working together is necessary if there is to be greater success in navigating global recovery.
Over the past two years, workers have borne the brunt of global economic disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of workers were placed on the breadline as economies contracted and businesses crumbled. The supply-chain crisis has added to the burdens of workers, while the war in Ukraine has further compounded workers’ difficulties.
“Notwithstanding the daunting challenges which lie ahead, I am upbeat about Guyana’s future. The country’s economy is set on a transformative and upward trajectory of development. This pathway is aimed at ensuring a higher standard of living for the present and future generations,” the statement added.
The Head of State gave his word that as the country enters this transformative stage of development, workers will not be left behind.
“Workers will share equitably in the benefits which will flow from our economy in the years ahead… we want the national workforce to enjoy increased and better opportunities.”
Dr. Ali said there will improvements in education delivery right up to the tertiary level and improvements in social services for the young and old as well as improvements in healthcare, access to potable water, electricity and sanitation services.