— to be sentenced todayThe woman who was intercepted at the Eugene F. Corriea International Airport with cocaine strapped to her body on Wednesday last pleaded guilty to the offence of trafficking when she appeared at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court on Monday.Angelica Forde and her husband James Forde appeared before Magistrate Zamina Ally-Seepaul. They were both charge with trafficking in narcotics.It was alleged that on June 15, 2016 at the Eugene F. Corriea International Airport, Ogle, they had in their possession three kilograms of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.However husband James Ford pleaded not guilty.The woman told the court that her husband was not involved as he was unaware of what she was doing.Despite her claims her husband was still refused bail and is to return to court on July 25, 2016.The woman returns to court today for sentencing.According to reports, the woman was scheduled to board a LIAT flight for Barbados and then another to travel to the United State.The woman was seen acting in a suspicious manner and upon inspection was found with the narcotic on her person.However, investigators believe that the woman’s husband, who is a taxi driver, was instrumental in encouraging her to carry the drugs.
Firing of striking workersPresident of the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers’ Union (GBGWU), Lincoln Lewis on Wednesday said that the Union is awaiting word from the Labour Department before taking action in relation to the recent events between RUSAL and its employees.President of the GBGWU Lincoln LewisThis revelation comes after some 60 striking workers were fired by the Bauxite Company of Guyana Incorporated (BCGI) – owed by Russian Aluminium Company (RUSAL) – for protesting against an arbitrary one per cent salary increase. The workers said that they were told that the one per cent was sanctioned by the Government itself.After the meeting on Tuesday between representatives of the company and the Labour Department, Lewis told Guyana Times on Wednesday, “We are waiting for the Department of Labour to call us. The next step will come when the Department respond. If they declare a deadlock, we will choose the next course of actions”.At the meeting, representatives of the company stated that they do not recognise the Union which has been advocating for these workers. But Lewis maintained that the company has no authority to ascertain this, stating that it a responsibility of the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board (TURCB).Meanwhile, he also stated that the workers of the BCGI are wholly represented since the move to fire them was “illegal”.President of GTUC Coretta Mc Donald“Our position remains the same. RUSAL has no authority when it comes to recognition of trade unions in this country. That’s an activity of the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board and so long as the Board has pronounced, our position remains the same. In relation to the workers being fired, we are pursuing it. We consider that it is illegal what the company has done and we shall pursue it to the end,” said Lewis.While RUSAL is contending that it does not recognise the Workers’ Union, there has been opposition from the Labour Department, who also rebuffed these claims.The GBGWU has complained about the company’s refusal to negotiate with them. This is despite winning a recognition poll in 2017 involving bauxite workers by an overwhelming majority as the preferred representative of workers in the sector.Meanwhile, amid reports of the current situation between these entities, the Guyana Trades Union Congress in an issued statement noted that a salary increase without any form of negotiation reflected on the complete exclusion of the Union in addressing its workers’ rights and moreover, pointed to the “highhandedness” of the bauxite company.Insisting that the primary concern rests in restoring employment for these workers, GTUC also stated, “We are no less concerned over the historic persistence of the Government of Guyana with its ‘policy’ of leaden-footed indifference to the sustained arrogance and abusiveness of the Russian management of the BCGI. RUSAL, we need to remind ourselves, has a significant stake in the country’s bauxite industry. That stake, however, does not extend to the sovereignty of Guyana”.Meanwhile, the Working People’s Alliance also responded to the dismissal of the workers, stating that they stand in solidarity with the employees, demanding that they are reinstated.On Tuesday, residents of Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) who are in disagreement with the dismissal of the striking employees attached to the company, blocked the access road in the community which leads to the company located at Aroaima.Police Commander of E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) Linden Lord told this publication on Tuesday that a 15-man police team was dispatched to the community later on Tuesday to bring calm to the situation.Over 100 residents were said to have blocked off an area known as Station One, which is the main entry and exit to the RUSAL company.Lord noted that apart from the road, residents also blocked the river path leading to the company. This publication was told that the debris was removed from the roadway by Wednesday.