by Kurt Campbell
Competing protests were launched this morning outside City Hall. The Guyana Labour Union was protesting against City Hall while the City Council workers who are represented by the union launched their own protest against the union for not representing them enough.
The workers are calling for the removal of GLU’s General Secretary Carvil Duncan who was recently slapped with fraud charges by the state and is out on bail.
The union members believe their issues are not being adequately addressed and represented by the union. But mere feet away from where the workers were protesting against the union, the Union President Irma Glenn and several other members had a protest of their own against what they said was a failure on the part of the Town Clerk to engage the Union.
“I don’t understand why they feel the union heads are the problem when the problem is in City Hall failure to engage the union,” Glenn said.
Glenn is a retired employee of the City Council herself and insisted that the Union’s management was not to be blamed.
“Every time you try to make contact with the Town Clerk they can never get to him and we have been doing our best.”
She said even the workers who were protesting had received the full protection and support of the union when their salaries were not forthcoming on a previous occasion. Among the issues to be discussed between the union and the Town Clerk is the transferal of several staff without proper documentation and the tardiness of City Hall in making payments.
But Town Clerk Royston King told a different story during brief comments on the protest action. He said the Council has honored all of its obligations in terms of wages and salaries.
King stepped out of a meeting with the Guyana Elections Commission but did not directly engage the protesters. He said he was taken aback by the protest and could not understand what could have led to such a degeneration of relations.
“I have not received any correspondence from the GLU to suggest that here is a grievance and if they organized this protest then they have breached established protocols to deal with grievances,” he added. King said he intends to engage the union and workers before the end of the day.