Following criticism from the Guyana Oil and Gas Energy Chamber (GOGEC) that its recent collaboration with Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) of Trinidad and Tobago could mean trouble, the Guyana Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) has come out to defend itself.
While the Chamber noted in its statement that Guyana’s oil and gas sector has “good industrial practices”, GAWU does not share the same view.
“In our activities among workers within the sector, we have learnt of the departure of certain practices whether enshrined in Statute or otherwise. Some of these issues were only remedied after we brought it to the attention of the relevant authorities. Had good industrial relations been a hallmark of the sector, such issues, we believe, would not have existed. We could provide further elucidation should the GOGEC takes up our offer of engagement,” the GAWU pointed out.
It said that the collaboration with the OWTU is an “important step” to advance the rights and conditions of Guyanese employed in the sector and further, strengthens the solidarity between workers in both nations.
“This, we believe, is critical to allowing our people to avoid any pitfalls and to repeat successes. The GAWU hopes that the GOGEC can see the wisdom in our collaboration at this time,” the GAWU statement concluded.
The agreement will allow for the sharing of knowledge and skills from the OWTU, which has some 85 years’ experience representing workers in the sector in T&T.
It is GAWU’s aim to become the central trade union in the fight for oil and gas workers’ rights.