85-year-old Trinidad oil workers’ union to ‘show the ropes’ to Guyanese group

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The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) announced Tuesday that it has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoU) with the Oilfield Workers Union (OWTU) of Trinidad and Tobago.

General Secretary of GAWU, Aslum Singh, told OilNOW the signing took place in Trinidad.

GAWU said 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 Trinidad and Tobago.

“The memorandum in advancing the GAWU and the OWTU relations recognised that collaborative efforts between developing countries remains an essential prerequisite in stemming the tide and protecting workers,” GAWU said.

Both unions are members of the World Federation of Trade Unions, and share a relationship going back several decades, GAWU noted.

The two unions will promote collaboration within several spheres, with the aim of protecting and safeguarding workers in the oil and gas sector in Guyana from abuses.

They expect to participate in shared training, development efforts and the transfer of technical skills to ensure workers’ are aware of their rights.

The parties will also consider other appropriate collective actions to develop Guyana’s “social economy”. This refers to a network of interest groups that advocate for social causes.

OWTU and GAWU plan to enhance the memorandum in the coming weeks.

Guyana is fairly new to the oil and gas industry, having had its first discovery in 2015. GAWU intends to be a central trade union in the fight for workers’ rights.

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