Exclusion angers Guyanese

Marriott construction site.
Marriott construction site.

GEORGETOWN – The combined opposition is moving to ratchet up their disgust against the decision to employ only Chinese in the construction of the Marriott Hotel, officials of both parties said Tuesday.

Leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan said his party would be joining the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity in a protest demonstration outside the construction site on Battery Road, Kingston on Thursday.

APNU’s front-bencher Joseph Harmon said his grouping was contemplating legal action against the background that no vacancies were advertised locally by Shanghai Construction Group.

“It would be a series of measures to ensure that when people negotiate on our behalf that they negotiate in the best interest of Guyana,” Harmon told DemWaves Online News. He shrugged off suggestions that APNU has been engaging in one-off rather than sustained protests, instead saying that the opposition has to be strategic in pursuing its objectives.

At the core of APNU’s concern is the high-level of unemployment that government has ignored by agreeing to employ a 100-per cent workforce. “It also a demonstration of our concern and anger that we have a high level of joblessness among our young people and we can have officials negotiating on behalf of our country and enter into an agreement to prevent Guyanese people from getting jobs which are of a manual labour nature,” he added

He said APNU could have understood if the work was highly technical and the project was being funded by a grant by the Chinese government that includes employment stipulation.

Harmon dismissed talk by Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Hotels Inc, Winston Brassington that the decision to import Chinese construction workers was aimed at reducing the cost of the project from US$ 65 million to US$51 million.

“Are you prepared to sell the rights of Guyanese for a few dollars?” Harmon queried. He said there was no evidence to prove that the cost of the project would have been higher with local labour. (Demerara Waves)

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