Plan to close down TDC …HELP, DR ROWLEY

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The Communications Workers Union (CWU) plans writing to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley seeking his intervention in the Government’s proposed plan to dissolve the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) and replace it with two separate entities.

General Secretary, Joseph Remy, said the move had become necessary given Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe’s insistence that the plan was a Cabinet decision, informed by a report which reviewed the performance of the sector within the past few years.

Remy added, “We expect that the Prime Minister will have the letter tomorrow because it is being prepared as we speak.  The minister has said that it is a Cabinet decision and as far as she is aware, it cannot be rescinded. She also said that the report used to make the decision was confidential.

“So, we are saying that the prime minister is head of the Cabinet and he has to intervene.” He described the meeting as “a sham.” “We have exposed the Government’s attempt at further receipt because what was clear is that the Government felt by having its meeting today that the three labour federations will, thereafter, resume their seat at the National Tripartite Advisory Council which was clearly enunciated by the Minister of Labour (Jennifer Baptiste-Primus) at the end of the meeting. So we exposed the Government’s sham.

“It was an absolute sham coming to this meeting. She was reading from a document, never provided us with a written copy of the report that was used as the basis for the decision to dissolve the TDC. She eventually said it is a confidential document and they may want to lay it before Parliament and in the circumstances we can’t be provided with it.

“This was a clear attempt by the Government to pull wool over the union’s eye. They could try that with other entities, not the progressive trade union movement.” Remy said Cudjoe had apologised for the haste with which the decision was announced.

Remy declared, “We said straight up that her apology is not accepted because you are apologising to say that you have to hustle and make a decision at a Cabinet meeting and you had to leave the country the next day and that is why the decision was made that way. That is absolute rubbish.” 

The Union bossman said, “The minister must know that once there is a recognised majority union in an entity and you have issues that are going to impact on people’s employment, then by law you have an obligation under the Industrial Relations Act to meet and treat in good faith with the RMU before you would have announced that decision.” 
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