A workshop organised by the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) is expected to tap into the psyche of its members, hoping to stimulate the attitude of a better employee at the work place.
According to President General of the Union, Andre Lewis, the Union is seeking to develop their shop stewards and trade union activists to ensure that they become better persons at the workplace.
In an interview with THE NEW TODAY newspaper on Monday, Lewis said that the issue of punctuality and productivity will be addressed at the workshop so that members can be mindful of the rights of the employer.
“We as workers and Trade Unionists have rights and we also have responsibility. So, this course is designed to stress that because in organising, you need to know the union’s rights and what are the employer rights…”, he said.
“…It is not just about fighting for the rights of the workers – it’s also to ensure as an organiser, as a trainer, as a Shop Steward, the union activists at the work place also ensure that the worker at the work place respect the right of the employer and perform accordingly,” he added.
Lewis explained that a workshop like this is very critical to the overall development of young workers who are represented by the Union.
“It’s absolutely no doubt that in our view we need to deepen the development of our members, especially in a period when trade unionism is from the point of view of young workers.
“We need to ensure that they continue to understand and appreciate the important role that the union plays; that the union (is) not there to fight for a 5% or a 10% or a 4% increase in salary.
“…The union is there to ensure that all these necessary conditions of the workplace are in place to include in the right of the employer and TAWU has taken a decision that we can only strengthen the union by
strengthening the Shop Stewards and the Trade Union Activists and by extension the general rank and file members.
The new TAWU boss felt that two days can never be enough time to bring about the impact that was needed but was hopeful that the workshop will leave a stamp on the minds of the participants as to what their behaviour patterns should be on the job.
“We want them to leave with the message that we want to deliver in two days but two days is not the life of the worker, two days is not the life of the trade union movement, but two days is the introductory and there is continuous engagement.
“No one can develop themselves in two days, no one can develop themselves and be finished with it in six years, development is a continuous process – it is not a destination, it is a journey and we need to continue doing that.
“…So we are not expecting that after two days all of a sudden we gonna say that the worker has now been developed and that is it. No, it is a thought process …so intervention can be and will be through newsletters, intervention can be and will be through the radio programme, through the overall education process. This is just one of the methods of having a concentrated workshop where workers can get together sit in a training workshop/classroom session.
The two-day workshop, which was held in conjunction with Union Network International (UNI), a global trade union organisation, began on Monday at the Public Workers Union (PWU) building.
The workshop was attended by many of TAWU’s members and supported by members of the Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (CIWU) and the Bank and General Workers Union (BGWU).