With technological advances triggering change in business practices, local trade unions must find ways to adapt and amalgamation might be the answer.
This is the opinion of Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection, Keith Scott.
While being interviewed on the National Communications Network (NCN)’s programme, “Insight”, Scott said, “Trade unions now have their backs against the wall. They have failed – to my mind – to keep in touch and abreast with the new way in which business is being done.”
Scott noted that Information Technology is advancing particularly in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence.
Consequently, trade unions “have to find a way of keeping pace with that type of development,” the minister said.
He noted that the unification of unions can allow for more traction and made reference to unions operating in the United States (US) that have “more or less” amalgamated, resulting in less individual trade unions.
This approach, he said, contrasts with Guyana’s situation where “each union is still fighting for its own individual area.”
The minister opined that the amalgamation can allow for local unions to pool their technologies and expertise to better serve the working population. Scott said that he remains optimistic that sometime in the future, unions will realise they are more powerful together.
“A time, I think, will come whe they will recognise the need to combine… And at that time, they will find themselves having a greater voice.”
Some of the local unions include: Guyana Labour Union (GLU); Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU); Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU); Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers Union (GPTWU); Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU); Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU); General Workers Union (GWU); and the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU).