Guyana: Ministry of Labour has extended wishes on the occasion of Labour Day 2022. The Ministry stated, “It gives me great pleasure to extend on behalf of the Ministry of Labour warm greetings to all workers and labour leaders across Guyana on this occasion of May Day 2022.”
The historical struggles of workers and the labour movement must be recognized, and we must ensure better conditions of employment and decent work for all today and in the future. Better work conditions must characterize their work, a safe system and method of work, fair and reasonable wages and salaries, opportunities for personal development and involvement in decision making.
The re-establishment of a separate Ministry of Labour and the hiring of Labour and Occupational Safety and Health Officers in the various administrative regions of Guyana are clear and manifest indications of our commitment to the protection of workers’ rights and the promotion of safe, secure working environments for all workers.
The last few years have undoubtedly been tough for workers as our work has been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, challenges and sacrifices are not new to the struggles of workers and labour leaders. With the right attitude and leadership, we have been able, thus far, to rise above the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The determination, perseverance, commitment, and attitude of our workers must be lauded and celebrated and must be respected, for they have answered the call dutifully during the pandemic.
The Ministry of Labour is proud to say that despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the spirit and principle of our tripartite dialogue and cooperation characterized by resilience, steadfastness, understanding, and determination were strong enough to get us through what we would want to believe was the worst of the pandemic. Labour Ministry is mindful of the fact that social solid dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders are integral in the process of securing and safeguarding a safe, healthy and decent working life for all workers.
Guyana is endowed with an unprecedented opportunity to benefit significantly from offshore oil and gas discovery. This sector will generate much economic growth and income, which will undoubtedly impact our labour market dynamics significantly. We have recognized that more must be done to protect our workers’ rights and as such, we are prepared to ensure that the legislative framework is amended to enhance compliance and protection of workers’ rights and cater for the new dynamics of our labour market. To this end, the Ministry would review the labour laws to ensure that the legislative framework regarding conditions of work and a safe workplace are germane and suitable to the Government’s policy objectives.
Notably, trade unions have played a significant role in our history and our development as a nation. The Ministry of Labour has recognized that trade unions are integral and imperative to our industrial relations system. We are fully supportive of trade unions and the work they do. We are most impressed with the time and efforts expended to champion workers’ rights. We must collaborate and work together to protect our workers, the most important asset of our country.
Today, Labour Day, the Ministry salutes all workers for their invaluable contribution to the development of our country. Let us not only celebrate our hard work today but also find some time to reflect and think about how we can work together in solidarity to build one Guyana.