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– ITUC reportOver the past decade, collective agreements in many public services have not been honoured by the Government of Guyana.This is according to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in its report on core labour standards in Guyana,Nike Air Max Sko Herre, published to coincide with the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO).The ITUC stated that despite the fact that Guyanese workers have the right to bargain collectively, collective agreements recognised by the government with many Trade Unions have been replaced by circulars issued by the administration, ignoring the collective bargaining agreements.As such, the report stated that government has been imposing salary/wage increases to all public service and public sector employees of state agencies since 2001.Following eight consecutive years of imposition of salaries and conditions, the situation in 2009 is currently at a stalemate with the government making intermittent pronouncements suggesting a salary freeze, the report noted.The right to strike can be exercised after the union’s leadership endorses a call for industrial action.The law does not define or limit retaliatory actions against the strikers, which is an issue settled between strikers and employers by the terms of resumption after a strike, it noted.According to the UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, some foreign companies have dismissed strikers for breaching their contract.Essential service employees may strike provided that necessary staff is left in place so that the service does not shut down completely and if they have issued a one month notice to the Ministry of Labour.If the Minister does not act within the specified time-frame, the workers can then take strike action,Asics Kayano 23 Pas Cher, the report said.However, the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) has raised concerns about the Labour Minister’s broad powers to refer a dispute in the essential services to compulsory arbitration and to sanction by fine or imprisonment workers who take part in an illegal strike. Such powers derive from the Public Utility Undertakings and Public Health Services Arbitration Act, which was amended in 2006 setting even higher penalties for strikers in illegal strikes,Nike Air Max Valkoinen, and then again on 7, May 2009 by the passage in the National Assembly of the Public Utility Undertakings and Public Health Services Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 2009.The penalties include a fine of US$ 150 and imprisonment for a term of up to 2 months.Additionally,Fc Bayern M��nchen Fanshop, the report stated that the listing of essential services goes beyond those ‘the interruption of which would endanger the life,Nike Air Max Billig, personal safety or health of the whole or part of the population’, as defined by the ILO.Dockage, discharging, loading or unloading of vessels, the National Drainage and Irrigation Board and other services cannot be considered essential in the strict sense of the term.The Public Utility Undertakings and Public Health Services Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 2009 widens the categories of employees falling within the schedule of ‘essential services’.The ITUC recommended the government should respect the collective agreements of the public sector and start promoting them in order to enable the improvement of working conditions for public workers,Cheap Liverpool Shirts 18/19, the majority of which are women.The Labour Minister, it recommended, should promote collective bargaining instead of referring essential services disputes to compulsory arbitration.The report also stated that government should amend the listing of essential services in order to include only essential services in the strict definition of the term.In cases where no union covers more than 40 percent of the workers in the bargaining unit, the government should ensure that collective bargaining rights are granted to all the unions in the unit, it suggested.
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