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SGU workers not happy with TAWU representation

Rebecca Ojay – did not mince words against the union

Embattled workers at St. George’s University (SGU) are taking a swipe at the Technical & Allied Workers Union (SGU) for not standing up more firmly with them on the stand-off with the American-run school on its decision to prevent unvaccinated Covid-19 staffers from entering the compound from June 15.

THE NEW TODAY saw about 18 workers engaged in protest action on Wednesday outside of the SGU compound at True Blue in the south of the island.

When approached one of the workers who identified herself as Rebecca Ojay said that TAWU knew of the position adopted by the university months ago but did very little or nothing to deal with the situation confronting those workers who were not inclined to take the vaccine.

She told THE NEW TODAY: “I work at St. George’s University for eight years now, and there is a lot of issues at St. George’s University that need to be addressed, but we are dealing with the fact of the vaccine right now. 

“St. George’s University send out a notification for the workers that from the 15th of June we will no longer be able to come on the campus.

“TAWU knew that. TAWU knew what they send out. TAWU wait until late rounds to come and address the workers, when a big percentage of the workers take early retirement and also resigned. This is a fact and TAWU know of it and the school has record of all the retirements that take place here in St George’s University. 

“We are being forced to take a vaccine – we are denied the right to be human beings to provide for our family, and provide for ourselves if we refuse to take this vaccine. 

“Our Prime Minister give the right to the private sector to control this country and to control the people of this country, for far too long Grenadians (are) submitting to these kinds of wrongdoing and wrong justice where our Prime Minister make choices and deals behind our backs.

“I am taking the right to stand here and say that I’m a loyal follower of Dr. Keith Mitchell and I’m following his every move. He say that no white man cannot tell them how to run this country so no white man is going to tell me what to put, an experimental drug, in my body.

“And I think our Prime Minister needs to stand up for his people and stop make all these deals behind our backs and make us suffer for whatever reason I do not know.”

On Tuesday, President General of TAWU, Senator Andre Lewis told THE NEW TODAY that the union had written to SGU months ago and in the last week in particular on the vaccination policy “expressing our concern that that is not proper and correct, and preventing workers who are not vaccinated from entering the compound is a violation of their contract of employment”.

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“…We would have to take the matter further in terms of industrial relations and dispute resolution. We are taking note of the matter – the school has said not to come on the compound. We have advised the workers that given the fact that the school has told them not to come on the compound unless they are vaccinated then the school cannot terminate them for abandoning their jobs as was one of the concerns of the workers.

“We will be addressing the matter very soon. The school has said that they will not be paying workers as of today and obviously we do not agree with that and we will be addressing that”.