All is now well within the Public Workers Union (PWU) as a rebel faction is challenging the authority and leadership style of newly elected President, Rachael Roberts.
THE NEW TODAY has been reliably informed that moves are afoot by the group of rebels to bring a vote of “no-confidence” at a meeting of the union within the next few weeks.
According to a source close to the union, the anti-Roberts faction is looking for 25 public officers to sign a motion to take to the meeting with a view to challenging the leadership of Roberts.
“It will be interesting to see how far they (the rebels) are going with this”, he said.
The source did not rule out the possibility of the rebels getting the necessary 25 signatories in light of the forces who are helping “to push this motion forward to embarrass Rachael”.
Speculation is rife that a group of left-leaning trade unionists from the 1979-83 Grenada
Revolutionary era are working from behind the scene to create disarray in the ranks of the PWU.
The source said that these elements who are now aligned with the ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell is not happy with the position taken by the PWU boss on the announcement by the Grenadian leader to try and resolve the pension issue involving the island’s estimated 5, 000 civil servants.
He spoke of Roberts advocating that the government should put on the table for discussion its proposal to bring to an end the 34-year old standstill on pension for public officers.
The Prime Minister has suggested that the unions should instead come to the discussion table with its own set of proposals to reach a conclusion on the pension issue.
According to the source, with the general elections approaching, the group of leftwingers who are now giving support to the regime have been trying to force the PWU to make a statement on pension in accordance with government’s position.
He said that these elements have been targeting “certain persons in PWU” to help them push forward their agenda.
THE NEW TODAY understands that PWU officials have been able to get the copy of text messages exchanged between one of its office workers and a leading member of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) on some very important issues.
It was also brought to this newspaper’s attention that the PWU Rebels have been accusing Roberts of being autocratic in her leadership style and attending meetings overseas without approval from the Executive.
Another source said that the Rebels are also unhappy with the manner in which the Executive Secretary of PWU, Allison Miller was sent on vacation.
Miller was seconded from the Public Service to serve as Executive Secretary of the Union under a one year contract which began the first of August last year and is supposed to be expired by July 31st.
Miller has allegedly been sent on vacation until the expiry date of her contract.
Sources told THE NEW TODAY that Miller believes the manner in which she was sent on vacation was disrespectful.
Miller did not answer calls made to her on Wednesday by this newspaper to ask if she was involved in the planned “no-confidence motion” against the PWU boss.
However, when President Roberts was reached on Wednesday morning to get her response to the move to get rid of her, she said: “I don’t know about that but thank you for telling me. I will do my investigations and get back to you”.