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Private Sector Commission lambastes govt over apparent politically motivated dismissals

The Private Sector Commission’s headquarters, Waterloo Street, Georgetown.

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) on Friday lashed out at government sacking several public sector employees, saying that it smacks of “political discrimination” and the organisation urged the administration not to violate Guyana’s labour laws.

The great majority of those dismissed /terminated in public humiliation gives credence to wide spread perception of political discrimination and victimization despite human rights guaranteed in our Constitution and labour laws and in international treaties(Conventions),” said the PSC.

The umbrella business organisation’s outcry followed the sending home of several workers from the Ministry of the Presidency, Ministry of Local Government and more recently the Guyana Power and Light.

A number of persons, backed by a battery of lawyers closely linked to the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), has sued the government for salaries and benefits.

Following is the full text of the PSC’s statement:

The Private Sector Commission has noted with deep concern the many terminations and dismissals in the public sector which have been occurring recently. 

The Commission is particularly concerned about the perceived political influence over these dismissals with the authorities not adhering to established proceduresand not allowing for natural justice.

The laws which govern terminations of service are clear, that just and sufficient cause for dismissals must be established and that such cause must relate to the conduct and capacity of the employee.  The Termination of Employment Act further places the burden of proof for establishing causeon the employer and, consequently, if just and sufficient cause cannot be established, there can be no validor lawful grounds for dismissal.

The great majority of those dismissed /terminated in public humiliation gives credence to wide spread perception of political discrimination and victimization despite human rights guaranteed in our Constitution and labour laws and in international treaties(Conventions).

The Private Sector Commission is alarmed at the climate of fear which has arisen in the national community because of what is being seen as selective dismissals and would like to urge that the labour laws on termination and discrimination and best practices inhuman resource management be followed to allay fears of victimization and political discrimination.

The Private Sector Commission calls the State and its agents to build confidence and cultivate an environment conducive to fostering national trust through fairness, equality of treatment, non-discrimination, and social justice for all citizens.