‘All must benefit from economic tide’ – GAWU


GAWU Republic Day message 2023:

Republicanism heralded the full and final severing of our bonds with our colonial masters. For our country, it was a mammoth achievement after centuries of colonial rule and we daresay at times exploitation. Graduating from an independent state into a republic meant that for the first time, we as a one people were fully charged with guiding our nation to our destiny.

In the fifty-three (53) years since that achievement, we can say at times the situation was perilous and cause for deep concern. The undermining of our democracy through massively rigged elections represents several sordid chapters of our history. Similarly, our economic stagnation and regression whittled away our years of progress and advancement and literally moved us to nearly the back of the pack in this region.

We know too that during the years of republicanism we have managed to attain several objectives which have redounded to our people. Steady hands at the national wheel have brought us development and improvements. These are laudable though we know they are several empty barrels who choose to regularly express critical views.

Today as our nation and people pause to observe our 53rd Republic Anniversary, the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) takes this opportunity to extend best wishes and greetings to all Guyanese. As a working-class organisation we take great pride in our nation becoming one of the first republics in our Caribbean region.

It was a monumental step as we sought to assert our political freedom. We recognize too that even as we observe another republic anniversary, several issues remain unresolved. National unity and cohesion continue to attract our concern.

We are conscious that they are among us those who seek to exploit our multi-cultural identify for their own political ends. They deserve our widest condemnation. Similarly, the construct of an egalitarian society is one that must attract priority attention. This has become even more acute as we are during rapid economic expansion. We remain unflinching that we must all benefit equally from the economic tide.

The celebration of our republicanism is linked to the observance of Mashramani. The colourful floats, calypso, chutney, and soca competitions, among other things feature prominently on the calendar of events. Mashramani which means celebration after hard work enables us to assess whether our working-class and poor have much to celebrate.

Indeed, we are all marveled by staggering economic expansion as we have attained darling international status. Whether such plaudits have translated into real improvements for our people is yet to be fully determined.

Certainly, Mashramani 2023 comes against the background of workers finding difficulties. The cost of living, despite attempts by Government, continues to rise. Similarly, challenges in other areas may well be aggravating the situation.

We recognize attempt to build a strong future for our people and we are heartened by such efforts. However, such efforts together with a trickle-up economic approach is critical, we believe, at this time. As we mix and mash as ‘One Guyana’ let us give true meaning to Mashramani and ensure that we all have good reason to celebrate.

Once again, the GAWU extends hearty greetings to all Guyanese on Republic Day 2023. May our spirit of nationalism be further imbued by our coming together and may the goals of republicanism be drawn closer as we are One People, One Nation, One Destiny.

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