Veteran trade unionist Komal Chand cremated

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2020, 15:33 by Denis Chabrol

Komal Chand being cremated (GAWU picture)

Veteran trade unionist Komal Chand was cremated on Tuesday at the Ruimzeight Cremation Site, West Coast Demerara at 12 noon.

He died on April 8, 2020 at the age of 75, while while receiving medical treatment in Havana, Cuba for pneumonia.

His funeral was held three months after his death. Chand had departed Guyana on February 22 to get medical treatment. His body only returned on July 24.

Chand was accompanied by his wife, who was also prevented from returning as a result of the lockdown of air transport facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chand’s family and the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) had pleaded with the government to assist with having his body returned, along with his spouse.

The matter was reviewed and the National COVID-19 Task Force later approved that request after Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Karen Cummings met with the son of the late trade union leader, and spoke with Chand’s widow via telephone.

Chand joined the trade union movement in 1975 and quickly moved up in ranking becoming general secretary and later president of GAWU. He also served as the Vice President of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) and a member of the Presidential Council of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

The late trade unionist was also a long-standing member of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) who served on the central and executive committees. He also represented the PPP and the PPP/C in Parliament for over 20 years.

At the time of his death, Chand was still serving as president of the GAWU.