Tag Archive for 'labour Day'

I cry for the Fyzabad I knew

By Raffique Shah
June 21, 2018

Raffique ShahIt was on this historic day 45 years ago that I started a new chapter in my life-my involvement in the trade union fraternity, and more specifically, being part of the thousands who made the annual pilgrimage to Fyzabad to pay tribute to pioneers of the labour movement, more specifically Tubal Uriah Butler. From June 19, 1973 until I called halt to marching with my comrades in 2009, I never missed a Labour Day celebration in Fyzabad.
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Labour Day blues

By Raffique Shah
June 28, 2017

Raffique ShahI awoke on Labour Day morning to Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke saying in a television interview: Maternity leave? I’m not talking about maternity leave. I am talking about parental leave…two years each for both mother and father…

I groaned, my features turning sour, my Labour Day mood dampened, not by the approaching storm, but by the “gobar” being spewed from the mouth of one of the senior trade unionists in the country. I had gone to sleep the previous night thinking of the glory days at Fyzabad, between 1973 and 2009, when, without fail, I marched with pride alongside giants like George Weekes and Joe Young, and later Clive Nunez, Errol McLeod, Lyle Townsend and others, leading thousands of enthusiastic workers and farmers and unemployed persons, lustily singing our union battle-hymns.
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Butler and Rienzi

By Raffique Shah
June 26, 2016

Raffique ShahWithin recent years, annual Labour Day celebrations trigger accusations that the trade unions that mark the occasion with marches and speeches at Fyzabad pay homage only to Tubal Uriah Butler, never Adrian Cola Rienzi.

Such sentiments imply that Rienzi, whose original name was Krishna Deonarine, is ignored by labour because of his race. They suggest that his contribution to trade unions in the country through registration and leadership of both the oil workers’ OWTU and the sugar workers’ ATSEFWTU in 1937 was as critical to the recognition and development of labour as Butler’s charismatic appeal to the masses.
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Labour pains

By Raffique Shah
June 22, 2013

Raffique ShahI MONITORED this year’s Labour Day celebrations with mixed feelings. I was sorry to have missed the annual pilgrimage to the shrine of organised labour for the fourth year, but that’s another story. I felt a deep sense of nostalgia, a longing for the glory days when we rocked Fyzabad with solidarity that stretched for miles. Now, I see labour-power diminish before my eyes, something I thought would never happen in my lifetime.
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Labour: No Thanks Keith Rowley

Dr Keith RowleyTHE EDITOR: Some people really bold face in truth oui! Keith Rowley fits that description to a Tee. This PNM hustler is cited in the newspapers as saying to the labour movement “…hold the fort for I am coming, you have a friend in the People’s National Movement. You have tried the rest, now try the best.”
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