Public workers in Grenada have rejected the so-called Team Unity cast of candidates that was trying to capture the Executive of the Public Workers Union (PWU) at Tuesday’s election to fill a number of important positions.
A well-placed source told THE NEW TODAY newspaper that TEAM UNITY was
being backed by the architects of “Project Grenada” whose leading members have a close working relationship with the two year old New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.
He said the defeat will be a massive blow for President-General of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Senator Chester Humphrey who was keenly following the PWU elections.
Sen. Humphrey who first brought the idea of “Project Grenada” to the
public, along with expelled Congress member, Peter David have both landed prestigious positions with the new NNP administration.
The TAWU boss holds the third highest position in the State of President of the Senate while David, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Tourism is a new government Senator in Parliament.
The source said that Humphrey’s TAWU was trying to get a number of Team Unity candidates onto the PWU executive to help its own candidate Andre Lewis get the required amount of votes needed to win the prestigious and influential post of President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC).
The incumbent, Madonna Harford, will not be seeking re-election at next month’s TUC balloting on account of the illness of her husband.
According to the source, Humphrey made early calls after the balloting had been counted to find out the result of the PWU election.
He spoke of Sen. Humphrey only “laughing and chuckling” when he was told that Team Unity members did not win even a single place on the PWU executive.
An anti-Team Unity member of the union said he was rather surprised when he visited the PWU head office at Tanteen around 8.00 p.m on Tuesday night to observe if any member of Team Unity was around and in celebratory mood.
“The whole place was deserted – even the gates were locked. Them fellahs and them (Team Unity) gone from the place. I didn’t see not one of them around”, he remarked.
Earlier in the day, a former Executive Director of PWU who was giving support to Team Unity candidates expressed confidence that the slate would be able to wrestle the union from the current leadership.
Team Unity Leader, Dr. Malachy Dottin was not successful in his bid to unseat the incumbent President, Adrian Francis and lost by 202 votes.
Francis polls 495 to Dottin’s 293 and the third person in the contest Augustine received 268 votes.
The most visible supporter of Team Unity, medical doctor Winston Thomas came within 37 votes of landing a position on the PWU executive in his battle for the post of Public Relations Officer (PRO).
Dr. Thomas (377) was not able to defeat the incumbent Customs Officer, Brian Grimes (414) and Kerry Frank received (232).
Outgoing Treasurer, Egbert Felix who was identified as a member of Team Unity was voted out of the PWU executive after serving as many as four terms.
Felix received 335 votes as he was soundly beaten by Justin Hazzard (515) while the other candidate in the race S. Sylveter polled 154 votes.
The popular Rachael Roberts (471) beat back the challenge of Team Unity’s Dr. Devon Francis (391) for the post of 1st Vice-President of PWU, while the independent minded Earnie James received the votes of 183 public officers.
The minor positions of Assistant Secretaries went to Angella James-Teka (594) and Meryl Phillip-Sylvester (583).
Team Unity’s Carvelle Lett secued only 382 votes and Julie Jack 320.
The following persons were declared winners in the election:-
PRESIDENT – Adrian Francis
1ST VICE PRESIDENT – Rachael Roberts
ASSISTANT SECRETARY – Meryl Phillip-Sylvester
ASSISTANT SECRETARY – Angella James-Teka
TREASURER – Justin Hazzard
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER – Brian Grimes
2ND VICE PRESIDENT – Dexter Leggard
SECRETARY – Hannah Campbell