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​”Selfish & Immature” – Veteran trade unionists blasted at May Day rally

Karen Vansluytman

Karen Vansluytman

Long standing Trade Unionists were handed a blast at a unified May Day rally as younger members of the fraternity call for an end to “selfish and immature” trade unionism.

The blast came in fine style from Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) Women’s Steering Committee representative Karen Van Sluytman.

She told those gathered that it is time that the trade unionists cease playing politics with their egos and place the needs of Guyana’s labour force on the front burner.

Van Sluytman said that it is time persons who think they have reins on the labour movement be relieved of those reins.

“It is necessary for some of them to put away their selfish and immature behavior and work better for all of us…whether you unite or you separate we are punishing while the grass growing and the horse are starving,” said Vansluytman.

“We want them to know that it is time for them to change especially those veteran trade unionists who think the only way to effect change is to be antagonists,” the Committee rep added.

She said that instead of a cosmetic display of unity, the trade unions should all come together for the working class.

“We do not want any dress-up unity…If you start back unity today let it be continuous for the benefit of the worked…We are saying pay interest to the real issues affecting us as workers in Guyana,” she emphasized.

The worker representative said “The same issues that will affect members of GTUC will be the same issues affecting FITUG workers.”

Referring to the Public Service Commission of Inquiry, she said that it is time the CoI wraps up its work so wage negotiations can commence.

Recalling 2015’s May Day Rally, VanSluytman noted that persons were urged to vote for change and that call was realized with the election of the APNU+AFC administration but some things still remain the same.

“While at one end of the spectrum some things have changed at the other end there are still many issues affecting us as women,” she noted.



  • Emile_Mervin

    If the veteran trade unionists are antagonists it is because successive governments have sought to dominate and obliterate the labor movement. Some trade union leaders were bought and others were sidelined for refusing to sell out for a few perks.

    So, yes, it started since back in the days when Jagan sided with GAWU snd Burnham sided with the GLU. But I know without fear of contradiction that veteran trade unionist Lincoln Lewis has been independent of both the PPP and PNC in his fight for workers’ rights, so any call for veteran labor leaders to release the reins of power must be directed at those trade union leaders in bed with partisan politicians. They know themselves.

    But like I posited under a different news item, the coalition had an opportunity to right a wrong against the labor movement, but it has no brain to handle labor, so it resorts to brawn.

    • SYL

      Raise of pay for the govt. to avoid corruption , and allow compensation. A raise of STAY for the middle and lower class until next election or selection.More of the same.

  • cuffy

    The veteran parties are still in power,so it is even ,be it which of the p’s in power,why complain about veteran trade unionists..Really and truly if the cancer of racism in guyana political culture can be killed.They will prosper as a nation

  • Gtloyal

    Ms Vansluytman, read the comments here and decide for yourself: Guyanese like the way they are being treated and how they are living. The don’t understand “unity” and will always oppose any effort to bring it about.