Venezuelan Nationals who have migrated to Guyana amidst the economic crisis in their native land, are seeking to have the Guyana Government issue them with work permits so they do not have to be victims of exploitation when seeking jobs in Guyana.
They are of the view that working in Guyana without work permits exposes them and causes them to be subjected to poor working conditions, lesser pay than is required for the job they do and encourages employers to take advantage of them.
On Saturday, the issue was raised with the Foreign Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Robert Persaud during a visit to Region 2. However on Monday during an exclusive interview with BIG Smith News Watch, Maria Edwards, a representative of the migrant/ re-migrant community further expound on the issue.
“At this moment the most important thing is for Venezuelans staying here to get the work permit for work. We get a permit to stay in the country for three months. But at this moment the situation is hard because Venezuelans work very hard and at the end of the day the people only want to pay $1,000 or $2,000 for the day.” Maria told BIG Smith News Watch.
She said that all the migrants are looking for in Guyana is an opportunity to be able to work and take care of their families. They just need an essential life, she added.
“We need the work, yes, but some people are getting their monies for the job at the end of the month and when they do it is just $5000 or $10,000 and the person who employs them would say that they don’t have any more money” Maria explained.
Hundreds of Venezuelans have been coming into Guyana individually or as a family to seek refuge from the hardships in their homeland under the leadership of President Nicholas Maduro. While some have found themselves jobs, others are have been engaged in roadside vending of hotdogs, burgers and even window cleaning… there are also those who have been finding themselves on the other side of the law.
“Normally the Venezuelan coming over here they getting a hard time, simply because of them being Venezuelan. The people treat them bad, cuss them, and they want pay half price… sometimes if they pay a Guyanese labourer man $5,000 or $4,000, they only want to pay a Venezuelan labourer $1,500.” Said Edwards.