Why isn’t the PPP regime concerned about others who have lost their jobs?
One of the objectives of the recent Budget cuts was to remove the inequities in earning among the specially paid government contract employees who earn close to and over $1,000,000 per month and those in the regular public service who earn under $100,000. Another objective of the cuts was to force much needed reforms at entities such as the National Communications Network (NCN) and the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) in the interest of the people of Guyana.
The Alliance for Change (AFC) is concerned about all state employees and as it relates to NCN, we are satisfied, based on a letter by Mohamed ‘Fuzzy‘ Sattaur (March 19 2012), that NCN is financially robust, earning 90% of its income from advertising and, therefore, there is no need to cut any jobs there.
In this context, we note the sudden concern and hysterics of the PPP over the cuts to NCN and the Government Information Agency (GINA), and more specifically the 38 jobs they say will be lost at GINA. This newfound solidarity with the working people of Guyana by the PPP is, however, nothing but the shedding of crocodile tears since there was no concern for:
The 62 workers dismissed by RUSAL.
The 77 National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) dismissed in Linden, when government contractors doing work in Linden brought in their own labourers instead of employing Lindeners.
The high cost of crossing the Berbice Bridge that affects persons from Region 5 from receiving employment in Region 6 and vice versa, nor for the increased costs to the ordinary workers in Region 5 in sending their children to school in New Amsterdam.
For the employees of CNS Channel 6 during its suspension by the government.
When the government summarily dismissed Freddie Kissoon (a contract worker, by the way) and his wife lost her job, knowing fully well their only child is still at the University of Guyana.
Over the government’s removal of the subvention to Critchlow Labour College that resulted in the loss of jobs and ordinary Guyanese being denied an opportunity to further their education.
For the three New Building Society (NBS) managers who were wrongfully fired based on charges which were subsequently dismissed
The staff of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) which was unlawfully “dissolved” by the government.
The 4 wrongfully imprisoned treason accused (including Mark Benschop) and their dependants, many of whom were young children.
The 14 dismissed Supreme Court workers.
The many workers who remain unpaid by the government for their services to CARIFESTA 2008.
When the government cut its ads from Stabroek News and later when that cut was extended to the rest of the private media stymieing their ability to expand and provide more employment.
For the 9 Enmore sugar workers who were summarily dismissed for theft without determining which of them may have actually been responsible.
Over the fact that the government buys computers through overseas deals instead of buying those that are locally assembled, which would have created job opportunities for our young people.
The fact that because of super-salaries paid at the Office of the President (OP) there are fewer available government jobs to ordinary Guyanese.
When the government contacted the places of employment of Dr Tarron Khemraj, Sasenarine Singh and Carl Greenidge in an effort to get them fired (the last-named actually lost his job).
Over the general lack of job creation that forces our people to continue seeking their fortunes in foreign lands, where they are too often treated like second class citizens.
We can go on and on, but we believe our point is made, Editor. If the PPP, however, since the death of Dr Jagan now intends to reawaken to the needs of the ordinary worker, we urge that they establish their own propaganda unit (independent of tax dollars) and absorb the GINA workers. After all, the PPP only up to November last could have afforded several hundred $50,000 vinyl scrolls and around a hundred $300,000 billboards for their elections campaign. We are sure too, former President Jagdeo, with his monthly pension which is in excess of $3,200,000, and whom these 38 workers would have served faithfully, would be most keen to chip in like a Champion.
Moreover, most ministries have their own public relations departments. Giving GINA money, therefore, would have been paying twice for the same service.
As it relates to NCN, a subvention can be voted on at a later time provided there is meaningful reform, which includes among other things, that it would reflect the views of not just the government, but that of the opposition and wider society as well, that there is respect for the political association of all employees, and that its revenue only be used to pay its employees and not phantom letter writers/bloggers and party propagandists.
Finally, the AFC calls on the PPP to immediately allow the existing television stations to extend their signals. This would create more employment throughout the country. An expanded media sector too, would be able to absorb any vindictively fired government media personnel, since the PPP is not above scoring cheap political points.
John B Singh