Newly elected President of the Public Workers Union (PWU) in Grenada, Brian Grimes has rejected suggestions in some quarters that he is “a plant” by the retired left-leaning trade unionist Chester Humphrey and the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration, in the labour movement.
This is one of the allegations levelled at Grimes, the former Customs Officer who defeated the incumbent president, Rachael Roberts by 35 votes in elections held just over a week ago for executive position in the island’s biggest public sector union.
Grimes was asked by THE NEW TODAY to respond to claims that he was the referred candidate in the PWU election by Humphrey and other persons who are aligned to the regime in St. George.
“I don’t have any intel that is the case,” was the response from the Grand Anse resident.
“What I can say definitively, categorically is that Brian Grimes is an independent person whose sole interest is to raise the bar in the trade union movement, and to give back to an organisation – the Public Workers Union – that gave a lot to him in terms of development.
“I have been accused of being a NNP plant and being an associate of the hierarchy of the NNP. Nothing can be further from the truth. I don’t have a relationship with these men.
“What I have been known for is an advocate for the workers and that’s what I will continue to be known for – an advocate and a solider of the labour movement.
Less than one week before the March 15 PWU election, Grimes was attacked as “a Trojan horse” by a former public officer who made an impassionate plea for Roberts to be re-elected for another 2 year term in office.
The letter, under the headline banner, Public Officers do not be fooled, said in part: “Over the years outside forces who are pushing for the demise of the union have sought to insert persons onto the Executive to create chaos and further undermine the organisation.
“To date, their efforts have failed, however energised by how close they came last time, the anti-union forces have sprung another plot. This time they have elicited the services of a ‘spoiler’ to draw votes away from the incumbent President thus giving the ‘Trojan Horse’ who was beaten last time an opportunity to win. The spoiler has a weak demeanour and lacks fight. How can he lead the union?
“The other challenger is on a secret mission to cause the downfall of the union. The Trojan Horse beholden to those who want to weaken the union has already started to undermine the organisation. How can you undercut the strategy of the army, of which you are supposed to be a soldier on the battle field in the heat of battle?
“The union’s position ratified by workers is to give government until June to pay the salary increase that was agreed and signed over a year ago. In return, government will regularise the scores of contract and unestablished workers some of them in that precarious employment situation for over twenty years.
“However, the pompous one with an ego as large as a breadfruit must show his true colours by proposing an alternate strategy, asking government to set a date when they will pay the salary increase. What if government indicates it is going to make the payment two or three years from now?
“The Trojan Horse comments echoes that of one of his handlers, an ardent supporter of those who wish to cause the downfall of the union.
“Workers, this is the most consequential election of our time, and you should vote wisely. Workers must not be fooled by the Trojan Horse and his political hatchet men who are determined to infiltrate and destroy the union.
“Attempts by outside forces allied with reactionaries on the current executive have not daunted her spirit as she continues to struggle on.
“Workers, don’t be fooled, don’t allow the reactionary forces to get control of the union, so vote wisely, vote for Sis Rachael, a tried and proven leader”.