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posted 9 Jul 2013, 13:42 by Gerry Kangalee
The article published below is a response from Vincent Cabrera, President of the Banking
Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) to an article by Gerry Kangalee entitled Gouti Runnin'
I disagree that merely a demonstration called by the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) and supported by the People’s National Movement (PNM) among others, comprises an adequate premise upon which an argument can be built to illustrate that the mass movement had handed over its leadership to the PNM.
The NWU’s argument is extremely obtuse indeed! The PNM does have a strategic objective and they have played their cards right by joining the March for Justice. If individual trade unions did not mobilize effectively, then by all means we must work to improve this situation, but by no means should the JTUM’s leadership be blamed for this. I am tempted to ask the NWU, to account for “its fantastic showing and effective mobilization tactics.”

 When last I checked the NWU was part of the JTUM. I do not recall any representative of the JTUM having raised any objection to our agreed mobilization effort through handing out of flyers at the town centers. Has the NWU adopted a strategy of participation in JTUM meetings, flow with the tide and then criticize without raising such matters internally?

We make no apologies for keeping not ourselves but our struggle in the limelight. Neither do we make any apology for having political ambitions. Why must we leave that up to elements that do not come from the working class or from elements who do not seek the interest of the working class? If there are trade union leaders who choose not to place their Union’s issues in the limelight, well that is their business.

We agree that shop stewards have a great burden, but this is not a burden placed on their shoulders by us but a reality of the working class struggle. We congratulate all officers, shop stewards and activists who were part of the mobilization process.

There are those who have criticized us for not aligning ourselves with the PNM. There are those who complain that we have done so. For the record, whether you chose to believe it or not, there is no political alliance with the PNM. The participation of the MSJ in the Peoples Partnership Government is well known; it is now history that the MSJ removed itself from the government very early in its stewardship. The MSJ could no longer stand the mass corruption and poor governance style that was being practiced, with resistance to taking steps to fix the political situation.

We wish to repeat that we have no permanent friends. We have only permanent interests. Our interests are that of the working class and that of our nation; and we shall remain so committed regardless of misguided potshots or unfounded criticism.