Hostile reception for Labour Minister

GUT 1Labour Minister Elvin Nimrod has experienced the mood of the working class as he came in for a barrage of hostility on May Day, last Wednesday.

Minister Nimrod fought his way through, struggling at times, in his address to workers during their annual Labour Day celebrations at La Sagesse, St. David’s.

Workers used the occasion to call upon the two-month old Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) Government to respect the pay package that was signed with the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration that was voted out of Office on February 19.

The members of the Grenada Union of Teachers were in militant mood and became very vociferous along the route march from Belle Vue to the La Sagesse Playing Field.

In one of the chants they stated, “The House solid, and the pillar strong. Pay us we money, we waiting long.”

Another of the teachers’ chant was, “Pay us and vex with us, we want delivery.”

Chairman of the rally, Kenny James who is the immediate past President of GUT said workers await “deliverance”.

During the recent election campaign, Dr. Mitchell and his wining party used as their main platform theme, “we will deliver.”

GUTIn his almost 15-minute address, Minister Nimrod was forced to battle with the loud chants coming from the workers and at one point in time had to appeal to the Chairman of the rally to ensure that the microphone he was using was battled down so that it would not be pulled away from him.

At a previous Labour Day Rally at Tanteen, St. George’s during the previous NNP reign, the microphone was pulled away from the then Labour Minister, Lawrence Joseph by a worker.

“If you please give me the courtesy I will state government’s commitment to you, the hardworking people of this country,” Minister Nimrod told the workers amidst the loud chants.

Although he gave his government’s commitment to giving the public officers their pay increase, the Labour Minister appealed for their patience and understanding of the present economic climate in the country.

“I wish you must appreciate the fact that we have one national pie that must be carefully and consciously divided among all the sectors of our country, and so while we are willing to meet you half way, you must be willing, of course, to meet us half way as well,” he said.

“If we give you everything at every time, at the same time, it is obvious that we would not be able to meet other obligations, and so our promise to create employment, especially among the young people will not be recognised if we give you everything that we owe you,” he added.

TAWUPresident of the Grenada Trades Union Council (TUC) Madonna Harford was extremely pleased with the large turn out of workers who represented the seven affiliates of TUC.

Harford believes the choice of the venue was very successful for May Day.

The GUT which is this year celebrating one hundred years won the May Day March.


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