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ONE MAN’S FOOD … By Rae Samuel

posted 2 Mar 2016, 01:52 by Gerry Kangalee

"The food that Ralph Bunche

eats at the U.N. does not fill my stomach''

A woman in the Delta referring to the 

"progress” that Black Ralph Bunche 

was supposed to represent for “Negroes”.


Regardless of who is Mayor, Port of Spain remains a "wood and nail' city as John Gerassi described it in his book The Great Fear back in the '80's. No more wood and nail? Okay, but is not downtown Port of Spain a trading post? Dear reader, pass through our capital city on a Sunday around 1.00 pm and tell me what you meet - Tim Kee or no Lee Sing?

But this is not intended to serve to further distract. I notice that teachers intend to march on Thursday next for arrears, delayed promotions and non-payment of pensions. Seems that the personal credit union/savings bank that the Prime Minister proposed "I am saving your money for you'' is not something to which teachers are subscribing. By the way pension benefits are a favourite target for advocates of adjustment programmes.

The resistance started anew with the OAS workers, NIB workers, then student nurses, workers at the San Fernando Hill, community resistance in La Brea, the steel workers and now the teachers. This is going to raise the stakes. Teachers are strategically located in the work force and whatever they do has a tremendous echo/ripple effect.

Homeboy Garcia, now Minister of Education, must be wondering how this is happening in the midst of dialogue and consultation and the warm welcome he received when he visited the old home at TTUTA's offices earlier this year

It would not surprise to learn that frantic calls are being made to TTUTA's leadership to 'understand and be reasonable' and to appreciate 'that the Government and the Ministry is doing all it can' and that 'change takes time'. Even as the IMF cobo is circling for the kill. And teachers are forced to operate under the most stressful conditions imaginable, especially in the urban areas

For maximum effectiveness this fight back has to be co-ordinated. It will not be from the Hyatt. Jeez; it would not surprise to find Ozzie and Ancil in the malls soliciting donations to pay back Jenny. After all that money spent at the Hyatt and still the workers are in the streets! The food that the JTUM leaders ate and the money they hoped to get is not feeding the working poor or buying school books. The Carnival VAT 19/12.5 is finished and the IMF is about to invite the working class to drink from its toxic cup.

Is JTUM providing the chaser, while hustling to register as a trade union? Shucks it have no Registrar of Trade Unions in place (shades of Errol McLeod’s failure to appoint an RRCB Board for more than one year!)...yet.

 Within their own ranks and across the divide of the various federations, workers have to forge a new unity. New leaders have to emerge with clear understandings. The old guard in the labour movement can no longer speak lest they choke on their Hyatt salad dressing and fine wines.