Guyana Labour Union
The Guyana Labour Union is a trade union centre in Guyana, previously known as the British Guiana Labour Union. BGLU emerged as a labour union amongst black dockworkers. It was led by Hubert Critchlow, a popular cricket player. BGLU soon expanded into a colony-wide labour movement. BGLU was not the first trade union in the Caribbean, but was the first to be legally registered.
The BLGU functioned both as a trade union and political party in British Guiana. It was founded in 1919. As of 1928, the organization claimed to have 1,073 members, out of whom 341 were women. BGLU was linked to the British Labour Party, and affiliated to the International Federation of Trade Unions and the Labour and Socialist International (1924–1940). The organized did not struggle for national independence, but concentrated its struggle on social matters and suffrage rights.
BGLU took the initiative for cooperation between trade unions in the Caribbean. At the 1926 BGLU convention, the British Guiana and West Indian Trade Union Confederation was founded. In 1945, BG&WITUC became the Caribbean Labour Congress.
Forbes Burnham (later the president of Guyana) became president of GLU in 1952, and served until 1956. Burnham again became GLU president 1963-1965. Desmond Hoyte, who also became president of the country, served as GLU honorary president in the 1980s.
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