Battle for PWU leadership

Monday is Nomination Day for elections to be held next month to select a new executive for the Public Workers Union (PWU).

Informed sources told THE NEW TODAY that two public officers have expressed an interest in challenging the incumbent President, Adrian Francis for the top position in the union.

One of  them is Ministry of Agriculture employee, Dr. Malachy Dottin who was defeated two years ago by Francis for the PWU Presidency.

The other person who is said to be interested in running for the position is Augustine Andrew who is believed to be attached to the Ministry of Education.

According to a well-placed source, Andrew has been putting up fliers within some government ministries and departments to promote his candidacy.

He said that Dr. Dottin is not favoured to unseat Francis since several PWU members are fearful that he is trying to use the union to boost his profile for a later role in the national politics upon retirement from the service.

The source pointed out that several union members are trying to influence a female PWU Executive member to run for the Presidency.

He said that some public officers are not happy with Francis’ style of leadership, accusing him of being too media shy on matters affecting PWU and pursuing only compromises with the two-year old Keith Mitchell-led government on a number of critical issues affecting them.

He cited the case of the Junior Doctors at the St. George’s General Hospital who wanted to take industrial action late last year due to government’s failure to move quickly to address several of their burning concerns including poor working conditions and inadequate salaries.

The source spoke of the female Executive member being urged by several union members especially at the  Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens to contest the post against Francis.

A former member of a previous Mitchell-led government said the Grenadian leader allegedly branded Francis as a supporter of his party.

He recalled an incident during a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers when Francis’ name came up for a position and concerns were raised by others in the meeting about his political outlook.

The ex-minister quoted Dr. Mitchell as saying: “No, no, don’t worry, he supports us” as the Prime Minister moved to assure his Cabinet colleagues about the pending appointment.

The trade union movement in Grenada is currently divided with the Mitchell-led administration being able to capture the leader of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Chester Humphrey who has agreed to support the regime under the platform, banner of “Project Grenada”.

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