Veteran trade unionist, Chester Humphrey has survived a challenge for his post as President-General of the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU).
The long-standing trade unionist retained his position following the first challenge in over 25 years to his dominance of TAWU when he emerged with a victory over Paul Sylvester, an employee of telecommunications provider, LIME.
In a controversial election, Humphrey received 652 votes to Sylvester’s 437.
The balloting took place on Thursday and the results were not declared until late Friday prompting fears about the voting process that was used.
A union official described the system as “rather complex” but did not elaborate.
According to well-placed sources, the counting of the ballots started late Thursday night, was suspended a few hours later and were scheduled to resume at around 2.00 p.m on the following day.
The ballots were reportedly kept at TAWU’s head office on Green Street.
Prior to the election, there was widespread reports in the country that Humphrey was hard-pressed to hold onto his Presidency in the face of growing dissatisfaction by some sections of the work force over his handling of their affairs in recent years.
The union suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Trinidad and Tobago owners of the Grenada Breweries after a prolonged lock-out of the employees by management.
THE NEW TODAY had picked up information about some degree of uneasiness with Humphrey’s leadership in recent months especially among workers at St. George’s University, Grenada Ports Authority, Liat and state-controlled Gravel & Concrete Corporation.
The veteran trade unionist was forced for the first time in many years to wage a strong campaign to remain at the helm of TAWU by visiting several work places and requesting workers to allow him to continue in the post for another term.
The official result as declared by the Returning Officer, Michael Sanderson showed that only 1092 workers from 123 work places, representing 55% of the TAWU membership took part in the election.
The following persons were elected to serve on the new TAWU executive for the 8th Tri-ennial Term:
Chester Humphrey – President-General
Andre Lewis – 1st Vice-President
Gordon Raeburn – 2nd vice-President
Bert Paterson – General Secretary
Trevor Xavier – Assistant General-Secretary
Khary Delves – Treasurer
Trustees – Godwin Tomas, Shirlyn Mitchell and Shirlene Herbert
Patricia Fleming-Baker – Sec./Chair Women’s Affairs
Richard La Touche – Sec./Chair OSH Commission
Peter Cox – Sec./Chair Sports and Cultural Committee
Ordinary Members – Watson Benjamin, Martin Moore and Rodney Thomas
Denort Corian – Alternative-1
Alfred Lewis – Alternative-2
Glendon Lewis – Alternative-3