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Friday 13 December 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Leadership – not boycott – is needed

THE EDITOR: Urgent intervention is needed to bring about effective governance of a badly managed economy, which has had a ripple effect throughout the entire society.

It is now spreading like an epidemic, and Ancel Roget (OWTU president general) seems to have caught the same disease, which we can dub “the lack of proper leadership syndrome.”

Roget’s call to boycott about 120 businesses from the “one per cent” is sad and shows his inability to lead and to understand what is really needed now for our declining economy and the future of labour.

The potential disruption on the thousands of people who depend on their weekly and monthly wages from these businesses to help them make ends meet for their families will be mind-boggling.

Roget did not even consider the effect such a boycott will have on the minimum-wage workers who depend on their precious jobs for their livelihoods.

Why is Roget seriously peddling this senseless and ill-conceived message to the labour movement?

A boycott could never help this country or these workers or even the trade unions.

What the country needs now more than ever is strong leadership to unite and support business owners and employees to prevent further decline as we go through this economic downturn.

We all, as employers and employees, have to face this crisis head-on and support each other.

The reduced incomes, low employment opportunities, retrenchment and mismanagement of our resources stemming from poor leadership are the main issues.

But we can get through this crisis if we join together and be strong for each other. This effort must embrace all stakeholders — workers and trade unions, business owners and the Government.

There must be proper leadership, though, and instead of the trade unions calling for a boycott, they should insist on engagement through meaningful discussions with the “one per cent” to ensure that workers can withstand this storm and that no more are thrown on the breadline.

Do not blame the difficulties you now face with an unconcerned, uncaring elected Government on the businesses that have supported their employees over good and bad times.

Do not confuse leadership with the Government, as without proper leadership from all quarters — politicians, the labour movement and the citizens themselves — we are doomed to go down the route as previously tracked.

That includes devaluation and major fiscal adjustments to reduce expenditure, more taxation and loss of jobs resulting in an exodus of our citizens due to loss of confidence in leadership and the absence of any tangible ideas to counteract the downward spiral.

Maybe a change in leadership is the answer.

NEIL GOSINE via e-mail

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