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NDC Heartbeat: Resolutions – Trade unions and government negotiations; Citizenship (CBI) Programme

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) held its annual Convention on Sunday, 3 November 2019 during which a new executive committee was elected headed by Franka Alexis-Bernardine as political leader.

We of the NDC stand firmly behind our new leader as we struggle together for a better life for all of the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

During the proceedings, party delegates presented two resolutions that were unanimously passed. The first resolution concerned the current industrial impasse between the Government of Grenada and the Technical & Allied Workers’ Union and the Public Workers’ Union (TAWU/PWU), relating to negotiations for salary increases for the period 2020-2022. The second resolution concerned the Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme and how persons acquiring citizenship under that programme can impact the results of future general elections.  

According to information released to the public, the joint negotiating team of TAWU/PWU submitted written proposals to government on 29 July 2019 ahead of the deadline for so doing. In response, instead of a written counterproposal, government made an oral counter proposal at the first meeting of the parties on 12 September 2019. This counterproposal was miles apart from the unions’ and the unions felt it was done reluctantly. The NDC is of the view that the cavalier treatment of such a serious issue by government, in not submitting a written counterproposal within a reasonable time, was not only unbecoming but set an early sour flavour to the negotiation process.

Then on 8 October 2019, at only the third meeting of the parties, Minister Oliver Joseph, without warning, usurped the position of Beryl Isaac, and presented himself head of the government negotiating team. He then further, in bad faith, surprised the unions by, in their view, prematurely declaring a deadlock in the negotiations.

The unions are insistent that agreement can be reached and that government has not replied to their second proposal where they significantly reduced their asking sum. To them, negotiations are not exhausted.

The NDC considers the conduct of the minister and his administration to be highhanded and unduly aggressive. Rather than being bullied, the workers of our country deserve to be treated with respect. Furthermore, continued industrial impasse will only serve to reduce productivity and hurt our economy.

In keeping with the mandate of the delegates contained in the resolution, the NDC therefore hereby condemns the highhanded, premature and unilateral declaration of deadlock by the minister and calls for an immediate withdrawal of same.

The NDC also calls on the government negotiating team to submit a written improved offer to the unions that will bring the parties closer to finding common ground.

Further, the NDC strongly encourages the parties to return to the negotiating table and urges government to at least attempt to do so in good faith, so as to arrive at an amicable resolution in the interest of good industrial relations and for the peaceful and orderly governance of the country.

In keeping with the second resolution passed by party delegates, the NDC calls on government to pass an amendment to the CBI law that will reinstate the original provision that required publication of the names and nationalities of all persons acquiring Grenadian citizenship under that law. People wishing to conduct legitimate business in our country ought not to be afraid to have their names made known to other citizens of Grenada.

It is of critical importance that our electoral process is not unduly and negatively influenced. Therefore, to ensure that our elections are not determined by people who, although are citizens, have no connection to Grenada, the NDC now calls on government to table an amendment to the Representation of the People Act (electoral law) that will require all persons acquiring citizenship by registration, to reside in Grenada for at least 6 months before becoming eligible to be registered to vote.

The NDC demands that these changes to the law must be in effect before another general election is held in Grenada.

The NDC stands resolute with the workers of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. We also commit to the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique that we will fight vigorously in defence of our electoral process, our democracy and our democratic institutions.

NDC

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International Civil Aviation Day | United Nations

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Civil aircraft at airport terminal. Photo: Serge Davidyants

The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States, and of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realize a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.

As the UN and world nations have now adopted Agenda 2030, and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objectives to look to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.

Every five years, coinciding with ICAO anniversaries (2014/2019/2024/2029/etc.), the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period.

 

75 Years of Connecting the World

Seventy-five years after ICAO’s foundation, the International Civil Aviation network carries over four billion passengers annually.

The global Air Transport sector supports 65.5 million jobs and USD 2.7 trillion in global economic activity, with over 10 million women and men working within the industry to ensure 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers a day are carried safely to their destinations. The wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport show that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6 per cent of global economic activity are supported by the aviation industry according to research by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).

Learn more about ICAO 75 Years of Connecting the World.

 

 

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This Day in History | NOW Grenada

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by John Angus Martin, A-Z of Grenada Heritage

On this day, 7 December 1976, Grenada witnessed its most contentious general elections to date when opposition parties formed a coalition, the People’s Alliance (PA), to challenge the electoral monopoly of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) of Prime Minister Gairy, but lost.

In an attempt to end the GULP’s seemingly unshakeable electoral monopoly, the three main opposition political parties–the leftist New Jewel Movement (NJM) under Maurice Bishop (nominating seven candidates), the centrist Grenada National Party under Herbert Blaize (nominating five candidates), and the pro-business United People’s Party under Winston Whyte, a former GULP senator (nominating two candidates)–formed a coalition party, the People’s Alliance, to contest the 1976 general elections. Ideological differences between the parties created some tension, as was evident with the establishment of the PA only a few days prior to the deadline for nomination. The PA brought together three politically diverse groups, with only one thing in common, a strong desire to be rid of PM Gairy and the GULP.

The failure of the NJM to remove Eric Gairy from power by mass protest in 1974 had forced its leaders to participate in parliamentary elections, even though they believed the electoral process to be “woefully deficient.” The youth vote, from which the NJM derived much support, became important, especially since 18-year-olds were eligible to vote for the first time. Though the PA had hoped that its broad-based support would be enough to defeat PM Gairy, it was confronted with a number of political obstacles. PM Gairy’s supposed abuses and corruption of the electoral process, and the passing of a number of laws like the banning of the use of public address systems by opposition parties, thwarted the opposition’s every move. The GULP government had a monopoly of the airwaves, and even controlled the choice of an opposition election symbol.

In the end, the PA won six of the 15 contested constituencies, capturing just under 49% of the popular vote. It later protested that the election was not free and fair. It was one of the most hotly contested elections in many years. Despite the PA’s loss, the GULP government was confronted with a noticeable opposition for the first time in a decade. By 1979 many believed that “the Parliament had degenerated into a theatrical act, with Gairy always the leading actor,” and the opposition, under Bishop, a reluctant supporting cast. Some have suggested that “the Grenada Parliament had become a caricature of the Westminster model and, moreover, reflected the inherent weaknesses of that model,” leading to disillusionment in the process, and ultimately resulting in the Revolution. If there were winners among the PA, it was the NJM, which won over new supporters and gained a national platform for its leftist views.

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RGPF retirees encouraged to continue serving their communities

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • Police retirees urged to use job knowledge and experience to serve communities
  • 20 police officers of various ranks with a combined 587 years of service, retired

The underlining message embedded in most of the addresses to the retirees of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) was to use their knowledge and experience gained on the job to continue to serve their communities.

On Wednesday, 4 December, twenty police officers of various ranks from ASP to Royal Constable with a combined 587 years of service, retired from the RGPF. The Police Welfare Association staged a farewell ceremony in their honour at the Special Services Unit (SSU) compound at Camp Saline.

These police officers entered the service at various times, dating back to 1984, and in recognition of their services each received a plaque and medal of service in recognition of their contribution to the RGPF. As customary, the retirees marched off to Auld Lang Syne under a guard of honour, and elicited tears and applause from their comrades as they gave their final salute to Acting Police Commissioner, Edvin Martin.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Michael François, reminded them not to allow their talents and abilities to wither away but to put them to good use in their respective communities.

“As you retire you can look back and feel part of the part you played in seeking to build a culture in the RGPF that reflect values that underpin the service that we provide in many ways. Life begins at retirement today, and by today’s standard you are young men and women with a lot to offer to your immediate communities and to the wider society. I order you to reflect on how you are going to use your wealth of experience and talent for the common good. It is always said that the only true retirement is that of the heart. I know that your hearts are not retired and they are in the right place,” ACP François said.

Chairman of the RGPF Welfare Association, Inspector Simon Douglas, outlined areas where retirees can focus their attention post-retirement to have a more meaning life: to build a strong spiritual connection with their creator, improve their social interaction, maintain a positive attitude towards retirement and maintain a healthy body through diet and exercise. He also stressed that they now have a duty to be more integrated within the fabric of their communities. “Be intentional in creating your social network. During retirement also understand that folks from the job aren’t very likely to be a part of your post-retirement life. For those of you who are solitary try to discover the engage others; join community groups with people of similar interests. Volunteer in organisations that help people, for giving others brings the greatest sense of fulfilment. Use your knowledge and experiences to guide and encourage those of us who are still on the job.”

Kerabe Belfon, a former officer of the RGPF delivered the charge. He emphasised the importance of retirees to remember that life does not end after retirement and that they are still expected to play a leadership role in their communities. “I challenge you to enter the phase with a sense of purpose so that you could remain in good health and prosper. I understand the fight. I understand what it means to finish the race. I tell you brethren when my time arrived I finished that race sprinting. As retiring [people] I say to you, finish the race sprinting; finish the race strong so that when you move into that new phase the energy that you have you [will] transform it in realising the goals that you have beyond the RGPF, beyond service to this nation.”

2019 RGPF retirees:

  1. Supt. Terrence Noel
  2. WSupt. Lynda Francis
  3. ASP Terrence Julien
  4. ASP Renwick Francis
  5. Insp 664 David Lewis
  6. Sgt 141 Denis Burke
  7. Cpl 612 Eric Bascombe
  8. Cpl 779 Reynold St. John
  9. PC 284 Carl Fletcher (deceased)
  10. PC 60 Lincoln Roberts
  11. PC 655 Roderick Williams
  12. PC 790 Thaddeus Lewis
  13. WPC 188 Agnes Mc Lawrence
  14. WPC 759 Carol Horsford
  15. PC 507 Desmond Alexander
  16. PC 566 Wilson Richards
  17. WRC Jean Chetram
  18. RC Lennard Dickson
  19. RC Herman James
  20. Betty Ann Joseph

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