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Grenada trade union leader accuses colleagues of instigating booing
Published on May 13, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada -- Veteran trade unionist Chester Humphrey, who was booed by some workers at Grenada’s May Day rally, alleges that the jeering was politically instigated from within the labour movement itself.

It was “politics” and “it was organized and instigated”, said Humphrey, a former labour senator.

chester_humphrey.jpg
Chester Humphrey
“Prior to May Day, a friend of mine – Swinton Lambert – called me to tell me that he had a discussion with Justin Campbell, who is president of the Bank and General Workers’ Union, who told him that they were coming on May Day to deal with me,” Humphrey is quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with Caribupdate, a Grenada Weekly.

“It is well known that Justin is a sympathizer and an activist supporter of the (National Democratic) Congress. So, it was not a spontaneous matter; it was organized and instigated. And there is sufficient evidence that satisfies me that some of that instigation came from within the labour movement at the leadership level,” Humphrey charged.

The president-general of Grenada’s Technical and Allied Workers Union, Humphrey is also secretary-general of the Caribbean Congress of Labour.

In the newspaper interview, Humphrey said that among some his Grenada Trades’ Union Council (GTUC) colleagues he is “no longer popular” as he used to be when he was a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and openly opposed the New National Party (NNP) of Dr Keith Mitchell during his 13-year reign as prime minister from 1995 to 2008.

In September 2012, Humphrey and nine others were expelled from the NDC, which suffered a humiliating 15-0 defeat by the NNP in February 2013.

Humphrey has been very critical of the NDC and its leader Nazim Burke, and says he is willing to cooperate with the NNP government in any project he believes is in the best interest of Grenada.

“I’m not doing the political work that they (NDC) expect me to do,” said Humphrey.

“I am about Project Grenada. If the government does something that I see is positive, I will support it. But I would not be a condemnatory spokesman as I used to be for 13 years.”

The government, in an attempt to reduce Grenada’s indebtedness and improve the country’s financial and economic situation, is implementing what it describes as a home-grown structural adjustment program (SAP).

The program has the backing of the International Monetary Fund, and the government has been seeking local support from trade unions and non-governmental organizations.

However, Humphrey claims that there is a strategy among some GTUC members to ensure the failure of the SAP.

“I cannot subscribe to a political strategy which says ensure that the current government fails in the structural adjustment program. That’s the essence of the strategy,” said Humphrey.

“They may talk cooperation. But the essence of the strategy, as I see it, is to make sure the program fails; because if it fails, people will hurt and lose job and at the next election, I would be re-elected to office. Now, I cannot subscribe my trade union principles to that strategy. My question to those who promote that strategy is what happens to the workers?”
 
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Comments:

Grenadianclass:

Chester Humphrey is a " political grasshopper and opportunist". Chester is all about ' project Peter David who he want to become the next prime minister of Grenada . Having been expelled from the NDC he sees an accommodation with the NNP as the next best hope of accomplishing this objective. NUF the political party of their colleague Glynis Roberts is dead on arrival and so colluding with Keith Mitchell is the only viable option available to the RMC gang.

Grenadians and the wider Caribbean shouldn't be fooled by the rantings and accusations of Chester Humphrey. The fact of the matter is scores of workers that are members of his union TAWU has been dismissed from their jobs at various businesses without a fight by Humphrey because he is closely aligned with the NNP. Chester Humphrey supports the draconian tax measures imposed on the same workers he claims to represent by the Keith Mitchell regime.

Chester through his accusations is now trying to divide further the labour movement. He has fell from grace with the TUC having lost his senatorial position to Ray Roberts. He is now seen as a " traitor and double agent" . He is prepared to "sell out " in his quest to see Peter David become prime minister.

Humphrey and his colleague has a socialist agenda as can be seen from his May Day message . In that message he made reference to Cuba and Venezuela . He was " booed" because the workers don't have any confidence and trust in Chester Humphrey.

Chester once a strong advocate against the policies of the IMF is now willing to support the structural adjustment program under the said IMF out of " PURE SOCIALIST POLITICS" which he calculated will help his cause and that of Peter David. Continued failure of the economy will put enormous pressure on the political fortunes of the NNP the party Chester Humphrey is now affiliated to.

Chester can't be a condemnatory spokesman because that would be contrary to his political objectives. Grenadians are fully aware of the political ambitions of Chester Humphrey and his gang., the creation of a one party state in the mold of communist Cuba.

If Chester Humphrey was popular among the labour movement no amount of instigation to embarrass and humiliate him would have succeed . The fact that he as booed throughout his speech is n indiction of the disgust and apprehension that workers have against him.

As the next election comes closer it will become clearer to the workers what the real attention of Chester Humphrey is. His interview by Depradine a fellow socialist is just an attempt to shift the goal post and accuse his union colleagues of instigating his humiliation at the May Day celebrations. It's just an old socialist strategy of spreading propaganda.

More and more people are seeing Chester Humphrey for what he is. Having supported the NDC in the 2008 elections he tried to hold the party at ransom and hostage for his support. He made demands of the party in an uncompromising way.

Accusing people that he has a relationship with is his modus operadi. His attacks on Thomas , Burke and now his trade union colleagues is manifestation of his infantilism and political immaturity. He always want to be at the center of attention and when things don't of to his script he is quick to cry foul. He was instrumental in bringing down Gairy , Mauriice Bishop and Tillman Thomas . How long will it take for him to bring down Keith Mitchell? Four and half years is their patience span.

Chester is always involved in a hear say and they say like a little gossiping little girl. Swindon call me to say that Justsin say they were coming to get me . Real gossip. When will these old grown men grow up and act in keeping with their biological age.?

These egomaniacs are the reason why Grenada is struggling and Grenadians are suffering. Whenever the country seems to be turning the corner these " political errors ' always turn the country back. They did in 1983 with the vicious assassination of prime minister Maurice Bishop and the subsequent demise of the popular people's revolution and again in 2012 when they create a political rift and internal coup within the NDC when attempts were made to take the leadership of the party from Tillman Thomas?

While they have been successful in bringing down governments they continue to fail to accomplish their premier objective which is to secure the prime ministership of the country.

Let's wait and see what the outcome will be of this current marriage of convenience between Chester"s gang and the NNP. Will Keith Mitchell give up the leadership of the NNP to Peter David as is rumor on the grapevine ? Or would he have to fight to take the leadership form him as history shows. Grenadians are nervously watching and waiting to see why would be the result of " project Grenada. Will is result in the killing of yet another prime minister. Only time will tell.

With Trinidadians going to Syria to fight having trained in Venezuela recruiting " jihadist ' is easy. Dangerous times lies ahead in Grenada the Isle of Conflict. The final chapter is yet to be written. The RMC is back and they are back with a vengeance. They are slowly and surely ploughing their way into mainstream Grenadian politics once again having forge an alliance with Mitchell their former nemesis and the NNP.

Mitchell may not be very sympathetic to the humiliation meted out to Chester Humphrey after pronouncing how dangerous these men can be. For over a decade ha had nothing nice to say about Chester . An artificial transformation has taken place and one wonders when the true picture will emerge. May not be very long from now. In the mean time both factions are laying the foundation for the final battle. Mitchell is allegedly building a special unit within the RGPF and the other faction planning and plotting daily for any eventuality.

Faye Thompson:

What utter rubbish!! Is this Union Leader for real?

At a time when Grenadian workers are hurting the most, he refues identify with the Worker's struggle then wonders why the workers rejected him in the manner they did. Unbelieveable.

So working on "Project Grenada" means that you must not identify with the pain of the suffering workers? Is he saying that ALL other Union Leaders are now working to undermine Project Grenada.

Workers are not fools. They sent a very clear message. It is up to the Union boss to learn it.

Louise Grant:

Unfortunately too may people like to talk thru their political emotional teeth and swing to what favours them at a particular time. Chester is NOT ONE OF THEM, and I repeat NOT ONE OF THEM. While I disagree with him many times over the years, yet he gives valid reasons why he makes certain decisions. He says it as he sees it, quite unlike the characters vying and supporting political ideas and dudes. It's just unfortunate that character assination in part of our political institution. sad.


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