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Lambert on MSJ pullout: It’s a backward step
“Retrograde step.” That is how president general of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) James Lambert described the decision of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) to leave the People’s Partnership Government. On Sunday MSJ leader David Abdulah announced the party’s national executive and activists’ council had decided to leave the five-party coalition Government. Now the coalition consists of the United National Congress (UNC), Congress of the People (COP), Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) and the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC). Lambert, in a telephone interview, said the party should not have left the coalition. “I am of the view they should have remained on the inside and solve their problems. Trade union is about resolving contentions and problems and I am off the view they should have remained,” he said.
Lambert said he would take part in today’s Labour Day march with his members in full support of the contribution of those who have toiled over the years. However, he said: “As it relates to speaking on the platform I will not be speaking.” Lambert said the NUGFW was not invited to be part of the MSJ. He said the NUGFW, like several others which were not invited to join, were branded People’s National Movement (PNM.) Lambert also took issue with Abdulah’s decision to recall MSJ members from state boards. He said they had an important function. “As the union leader (representative) you will be there to speak directly on behalf of the workers. When you, as a trade union, are on the board you act in a preventative manner. You are on a board for two purposes, to serve the members and the nation,” he said.
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