Prime Minister defends GAWU’s head
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo last Friday defended President of the Guyana Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), Komal Chand’s move to work with the government to find a way forward for the workers made redundant by the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Addressing former workers and other stakeholders at a ministerial outreach at the Skeldon Community Centre, the elderly statesman said the effort of the opposition to vilify Chand is because of their narrow political agenda.
“Retrenchment was not in our will, we inherited that from the past government, they had already written that in for you, that you would be severed, that you would be done. All they wanted you for was to become a voting machine and today they want to get rid of Komal Chand, because the issue of a third term for the president comes up and they realize that the largest block of votes, that will vote in the Congress of the PPP, would come from the GAWU people. So, they want to remove Komal Chand,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo said.
He added that the opposition leader’s campaign to topple Komal Chand as leader of the GAWU has nothing to do with the workers’ interest but rather Jagdeo’s third term ambitions.
“…and so, ambitions are floating, and while ambitions are floating we have no working solution from the opposition. If they care for sugar workers they will come to meetings. But they were annoyed with GAWU, they were annoyed with NAACIE (National Association of Agricultural, Commercial Employees) for coming to talk to us, for us to find solutions to the problems,” Prime Minister Nagamootoo added.
Following GAWU’s and NAACIE’s acceptance of government’s proposal to pay redundant workers severance in two parts, the leader of the opposition orchestrated a campaign to have Komal Chand removed as head of the GAWU. Chand is one of the few long-standing supporters in the Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) following the forced removal of stalwarts such as Ralph Ramkarran, Khemraj Ramjattan, and Moses Nagamootoo.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam
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