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|Stabroek News report on GAWU Enmore meeting biased|
|Sunday, 10 June 2012 20:51|
THE Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) was quite concerned over a Stabroek News front page story captioned “Enmore Sugar Workers lash out at GAWU – Ignore Call for Strike” on Thursday May 31 last. The report was obviously biased in its account of what took place at an in-house, GAWU members meeting held at the Enmore Community Centre Ground on Wednesday May 30 last. GAWU’s General Secretary, Comrade
Seepaul Narine, who was himself a subject of the report, has given an account to the union’s leadership on what transpired at that meeting.
Comrade Narine explained that he met with several frustrated members at the meeting and was proceeding to outline the union’s strategy with respect to the holiday-with-pay issue when a clearly inebriated worker arrived and started hurling personal abuse at him. Two others, in an almost similar state, soon joined the first worker in interrupting the meeting which, until then, was proceeding smoothly.
After the disruption Comrade. Narine explained that the Branch Chairman, Comrade Rampersaud Persaud and the majority of those present expressed their disgust at the behaviour of the three and carried out informal discussions with him on several issues related to themselves and other workers.
Since the incident at Enmore, GAWU has learnt that the three who disrupted the meeting are said to have been influenced by someone who has affiliation to a political group which, in recent times, has been actively seeking to undermine the union. Thus, the happening at Enmore brings an intriguing dimension to the story.
In view of these other details and information, Stabroek News reporting has raised the union’s concern and indeed, special interest. The one-sidedness and prominence given to the report have given us the impression that it was intended to portray GAWU in a negative light. While we recognise Stabroek’s editorial staff has the right to determine the content, layout and headline of its newspaper, we also think that it is our right to express our concern over what we perceive as unfair and biased reporting, especially when such can possibly impact on our work and the general interests of our members.
GAWU wishes to observe that the Stabroek News reporter, Lakhram Bhagirat, who obviously learnt about the meeting, attended uninvited by the union which had summoned this members’ meeting. We consider his discreet attendance rather strange. We wish to note that a number of such meetings have been held with our members in various estates. None of these meetings have been disturbed in anyway nor, interestingly, none of these were attended by any Stabroek News reporters. Consideration of this has given rise to certain obvious questions.
In GAWU’s view, relations with Stabroek News have been good and one based on co-operation and respect so far. We expect from such relations, objective and fair reporting. Until now, we have had no serious complaint. We hope, therefore, that the issue being raised does not indicate a turning point in Stabroek’s attitude to the GAWU.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2012 20:53|
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