GPSU is threatening legal action if Trevor Benn is not dismissed as Head of a Credit Union
– Labor Minister Hamilton says the Ministry has no such power
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has threatened to take legal action if Trevor Benn is not dismissed as the Chairman of the Credit Union’s (IMC) Interim Management Committee.
In a detailed statement, the GPSU noted that Benn had until April 11, 2021 – the slate date for the Credit Union’s AGM – to vacate the seat. According to the statement, the GPSU said that management of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU) had been calling for Benn to be removed as IMC Chairman at the much-awaited AGM, as he faces criminal charges for misconduct in a public office connection with the illegal leasing of State lands.
In addition, GPSU President Patrick Yarde said Benn, former Commissioner and CEO of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) must be removed as the cooperative laws state that a culprit should not be on the court Credit Union Management Committee. Benn is indeed facing charges for selling six acres of State-owned land but has not been convicted.
Nevertheless, the GPSU statement stated that the 1st Vice President of the Union had written to Suresh Jaigobin, the Chief Cooperative Development Officer (CCDO) on April 6, 2021 seeking immediate dismissal from Benn as IMC Chairman. “The Union calls for immediate action to fail, it would institute legal proceedings on this matter …,” the GPSU said in its statement.
Previously, the GPSU claimed that the Credit Union was controlled by a democratically elected Management Committee but that committee was subject to abuse of executive authority exhibited by former Labor Minister Keith Scott. According to the GPSU, in 2016, the Management Committee was forced to pay over $ 2M to the Ministry of Labor but refused to pay over about $ 50M requested by the Ministry. The former Labor Minister has since denied those allegations, calling them unfounded and unfounded.
The statement claimed that Perlina Gifth, the then CCDO, terminated the “democratically elected Management Committee, took control of the Credit Union and replaced it with IMC.”
The GPSU stressed, “It’s almost three years that IMC is in post and there is no report on why it was created … From observations, since its creation, a series of violations of Credit Union rules happened and happened the laws of Guyana; for example, spending beyond IMC limits and paying a dividend without approving an AGM. “
Further, the Union noted that the IMC had now scheduled an Annual General Meeting for April 11, 2021 and issued instructions for membership participation in “infringement of Credit Union gross rules and customs and practices.” The GPSU says that the members of the defeated Committee have been appealing since then for the general membership of GPSCCU to participate meaningfully, to ensure that control of the credit union is restored. “In the first place, there was no reason to do that. the removal of GPSCCU Ltd.’s democratically elected Management Committee It was an abuse of executive authority, driven by short sightedness and political greed, ”the statement noted.
The GPSU said on September 11, 2020 that it had written to Labor Minister Joseph Hamilton drawing his attention to the current conflict on the issues of the GPSCCU Ltd.
“Although there has been a change of government from APNU / AFC to the PPP / C, it is still at the expense of GPSCCU membership,” the GPSU added in the statement.
In comments last night, Labor Minister Joseph Hamilton explained that the slate AGM (AGM) for April 11, this coming Sunday, will make room for GPSCCU membership to elect a new management committee. He said that, as Minister, he had approved the move for the AGM to take place after the credit union’s books had been inspected and updated.
Hamilton said the Interim Management Committee (IMC), under his watch, was able to straighten the credit union’s affairs, paving the way for its over 22,000 members to elect a board of directors.
“As far as I know, there is no conflict, we will not replace IMC, rather the new management committee will be elected for the Credit Union to run its operation … And at present, the Ministry has no power to removed Benn from his current job because he was charged but not convicted of any crime, ”he said.