The Ministry of Social Protection has embarked on bringing media entities in line with labour laws.
The scope of work pertaining to media operations is usually characterized by long hours, tremendous research and sometimes dangerous situations. But this is hardly taken into consideration and addressed within the ambit of labour laws.
Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Simona Broomes said that it was the sum-total of complaints reaching her ministry from media operatives. During a sit-down with reporters Monday August 17, the minister made it clear that media workers are “employees” and labour laws that guarantee the rights of all workers apply to them also.
In identifying some complaints made to the ministry and other problems identified by media attendees; it was noted that apart from instances of poor working conditions, media workers endure long hours and little pay, among other common difficulties indigenous to workers in general.
It was opined by media employees, particularly those employed with the state that they suffer the most. Given the scope of work, it is common that some media workers’ operation surpasses the stipulated eight-hour work day, but they still receive flat salaries. Their time- off or day offs are sometimes cut short or non-existent.
Plans are currently in the pipeline to expand the Women of Worth (WoW) initiative to Regions One and Seven this year, according to the programme head, Donna Short-Gill. Short-Gill made this announcement during a recent interview with this newspaper at her Water Street, Georgetown office. The WoW programme, which was launched in June 2010, was founded by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in collaboration with the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited (GBTI).
As workers of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission continue their strike action for improved working conditions and better salaries, the Ministry of Labour has fired off at the workers and has declared the strike action as ‘illegal’, ‘unethical’ and ‘improper’.
In a letter to the General Secretary of the Guyana Public Service Union Ms. Deborah Murphy, the Chief Labour, Occupational Safety and Health Officer, Charles Ogle, declared that the ministry has “concluded that the current (GGMC’s) industrial action, may not be in accord with known and acceptable principles of good labour-management relations.”
Just six days into the new year, workers from the Child Care and Protection Agency (CCPA) were called upon to intervene in a situation at Guyhoc Park, Tucville, to ensure that four children, who were neglected, receive adequate care. The children, aged 12, eight, three and one, were collected by the agency around 10:30 hrs yesterday, after the entity was contacted by this newspaper.
Guyana is participating in the “MenEngage Global Symposium” themed “Men and Boys for Gender Justice” currently underway in India. Guyana is being represented by the Labour, Human Services and Social Security Ministry Men’s Affairs Bureau Administrator, Diego Alphonso. The Guyanese delegate joins about 900 others from 70 countries at the symposium which began on Monday and will end on Thursday, geared at raising consciousness about male responsibility and accountability.
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