By Mark Murray
Talks are ongoing between the Guyana Market Vendors Union (GMVU) and the Critchlow Labour College on making the learning facility accessible for its members and by extension their children. This is according to General Secretary of the GMVU, Oscar Anderson.
The Union is “trying really to ‘transform’ our members from one stage in which they are, to another, at the end of it, they can be productive people and at the stage in which they move from, it must be to better their lives,” Anderson said.
According to the General Secretary, the Union is hoping to work out a payment plan with the Critchlow Labour College for reduced prices for courses being offered at the institution.
Anderson said the Union will also be bargaining to have the children of vendors benefit from the soon to be established partnership as long as they have the requisite qualifications since the Union will “ensure that they (vendor’s children) get into Critchlow at a minimum cost.”
With time the General Secretary believes the body can change the public perception that vendors are uneducated.
“Most of these members out there, people may want to get the perception that these people are no goods, but they are educated people who have CSEC, they have no other thing and yah know because of the economic situations in the country they have been forced really to plying their trade in selling on the streets and what have you,” added Anderson.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Market Vendors Union is in the process of encouraging its membership to register with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and for those already in compliance to ensure their contributions are up to date with the agency.
There is an estimation of 500 to 700 individuals who are vendors and stallholders from several markets across the City, a population that is slowly increasing.