GPL workers took to the streets to demand increases

Guyana Power and Light Workers are demanding increases in wages and salaries as being negotiated by their union, the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees. The Power Company workers took to Main Street, just outside the GPL main office on Tuesday demanding the 5% increase which is being negotiated by the union for last year.

The union had tabled its collective labour agreement before the Company since early last year, in that proposal, it asked for 5% for workers it represent for 2020, 7% for 2021 and 9% increase for 2022.

Dawchan Nagasar of NAACIE said that the company had started talks with the union but these talks were “put on pause” he explained when the new government took office. The talks were then resumed in March, Nagasar said.

“Since then we have not heard from the company,” the union representative said, “workers are annoyed, they run out of patience,” the man said.

Several power company employees who stood with placards outside of the company’s Main Street office admonished board members for being what they described as inconsiderate, “how is it he could be sitting as chairman of a board approving the purchase of new vehicles for directors,” one staff said, “and he is purchasing these vehicles from himself, he is the person who represents the KIA company in Guyana, this is a conflict of interest,” the man said.

Another staff said that employees need their money, “how it is possible they can pay themselves a 12% increase, given this is a pandemic and can’t afford at least 5% for the staff, the staff need that money,” another staff said.

The union and staff said that they would continue to protest in days to come, unless the company moves to address their calls for their increases. NAACIE represents some 750 GPL employees.