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posted 27 Oct 2010, 09:38 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 1 Nov 2010, 19:19 ]
Again they gathered in their thousands these hitherto “faceless” public officers, the salt of the earth, accustomed to being taken for granted. They streamed onto the Brian Lara Promenade, the heart of downtown Port of Spain and gathered at their now familiar site opposite the Financial Complex.
This gathering on Blackout Tuesday, October 26th 2010, appeared to be larger than that of Tuesday October 19thThey sang, chanted and beat out their rhythms and made their feelings clearthey were not going to allow the government to treat them with scorn

Again the atmosphere was electric: charged with militancy and a sense of purpose. They listened to the words of solidarity offered up by the leaders of other unions and they showed their appreciation for the solidarity.

They even listened politely to government Senator David Abdulah as he struggled to be both fish and fowl, quenk and hound. They listened, but they steupsed and grumbled and expressed scepticism at his attempt to exonerate the government for the 0% 0% 1% wage offer. They knew, as the great Guyanese poet Martin Carter has written:”a mouth is always muzzled by the food it eats to live.”

Again they marched through Port of Spain, this town without pity, making it clear that they were prepared to fight for what is theirs, making it clear that they did not consider themselves, second class citizens.

This rolling tide of black and green swept through the city heading for the lair of the Chief Personnel Officer, accompanying their leaders to go through the ritual of time wasting that collective bargaining is increasingly becoming as the capitalists and their governments try to force workers to shoulder the burden of a crisis they had no part in creating.

Again they made their manima on Upper St. Vincent Street, as their leaders engaged in what would, not surprisingly turn out to be discussions, which, to say the least, bore no fruit.

Again the Chief Personnel Officer put forward the government’s position: n

o change from the last offer, take it or leave it! They marched back through the city to the Promenade and discussed and derided the government’s position. They vowed to intensify the struggle and dubbed Tuesday 2nd November Blackout Tuesday Reloaded.

They knew that it just couldn’t keep on going on this way and that more artillery was needed on the battlefield, They knew that there were thousand of other public sector workers who were facing just as ridiculous wage offers: Daily Paid workers, teachers, workers at WASA, T&TEC, PTSC, MTS, Petrotrin, CDA, NP, fire services, prisons and others. 

They knew that these battalions of the army of the working class would soon have to be deployed and that the mother of all class battles is quickly heating up. They left their gathering knowing they had to be prepared for a bruising battle; that they had to be organised to withstand the attacks that were sure to come at their various workplaces, as the State seeks to frustrate and intimidate them. They left knowing that their impenetrable armour was their unity in action; their solidarity as workers and their conviction that their cause was just! Stay tuned.