…presented with their Trade Union Certificate of RecognitionThe Guyana Goldfields Incorporated has finally recognised the National Mine Workers Union (NMWU) as the official union representative for their workers, after the organisation was accredited with the relevant certification last week.Aurora Gold MineOn Monday, the company informed that they were in receipt of a certificate from the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board, identifying the NMWU as the ‘majority union’ for workers under their subsidiary, Aurora Gold Mine (AGM).It further stated that the Union will represent employees below the supervisory level and the company is working to abide to all stipulated regulations.“The NMWU is the bargaining unit that will represent AGM employees below the level of supervisor. As stated previously, the company is actively adhering to applicable laws and regulations and is facilitating communication with relevant authorities,” Guyana Goldfields said.The certificate which was seen by this publication, was issued on September 4, 2019 after being signed by Chief Labour Officer Charles Ogle. It stated that the Union has the authority to represent the workers, effective of August 20, 2019.NMWU had secured 52 per cent of the votes in a survey conducted by the Labour Department back in August. One of the workers had informed Guyana Times that they supported the Union after it had been backing their struggles since 2015. Many were happy since this achievement provided a voice to negotiate demands for better working conditions.President of the Union, Sherwayne Downer later expressed that they would continue their strides to advocate for miners’ rights. This development, he noted, was a victory for the AGM workers.“It is a victory for the workers of AGM. As President of the Union, I vow to go above and beyond to ensure that those employees, who would have trusted and placed confidence in us, will be on the receiving end of the highest level of effective representation”.In July, over 200 workers had downed their tools and initiated strike actions for two days after calls mounted for them to be officially represented by a union and to improve working conditions and wages.During the strike, the workers had claimed that they were threatened with having their internet connection disconnected— which is vital to ensure communication from their Cuyuni-Mazaruni location to the coast. They were also demanding better wages, better quality food and laundry services, out of town allowance, missing NIS contributions among others.Three days later, the Canadian-based company indicated that persons were returning to work on a phased approach and it is anticipated that full production will resume shortly. Three days without production has resulted in an estimated 22,500 ounces of unprocessed ore.A letter was then issued to employees, granting the second quarterly bonus of 7.6 per cent on July 25, while promising that the formula for the next bonus will be reviewed. However, most of these promises were yet to be fulfilled after weeks had elapsed and some miners had threatened to initiate strike actions once more.
Heading into the campaign season, the GOP is now on track to pursue targeted measures aimed at lowering drug prices and out-of-pocket costs, as well as attacking such ideas as Medicare for All. Democrats are focused on driving down costs and defending the ACA against GOP-led legal attacks, with some in the party floating broader health-care proposals such as a government-run health system. (Armour and Peterson, 4/2) A federal court has allowed Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general to withdraw the state from a pair of lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. Josh Kaul’s office announced Tuesday that the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas granted Kaul’s request to remove Wisconsin from two lawsuits the state is involved that challenge the health care law, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. (Burke, 4/2) Tampa Bay Times: In Health Care Fight, Trump Puts National Spotlight On Rick Scott — And His Medicare Fraud Scandal A federal judge let Wisconsin drop out of two lawsuits over Obamacare Tuesday, putting Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on a path to fulfilling a campaign promise that Republican lawmakers have blocked. Wisconsin remains a party to an appeal of one of the decisions. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has asked to get out of the appeal, but the court has not ruled on his request yet. (Marley and Beck, 4/2) President Donald Trump told House Republicans on Tuesday that they need to embrace health care reform and make it the first thing they vote on following the 2020 election. Speaking at an annual fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Trump told GOP lawmakers and supporters they have the advantage on a variety of issues, but conceded that Democrats have the advantage on health care. “We have to take that away from them,” Trump said. (4/2) President Trump backed off plans to introduce a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act after Senator Mitch McConnell privately warned him that the Senate would not revisit health care in a comprehensive way before the November 2020 elections. Reversing himself in the face of Republican consternation, Mr. Trump said his party would not produce a health care plan of its own, as he had promised, until after the elections, meaning he will only try to fulfill his first-term promise to repeal and replace his predecessor’s signature program if he wins a second term. (Pear and Haberman, 4/2) The Hill: Judge Allows Wisconsin To Withdraw From Two Lawsuits Against ObamaCare President Donald Trump thrust Sen. Rick Scott into the center of his renewed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act by suggesting the Florida Republican would help craft the GOP’s long-awaited replacement plan. (Contorno, 4/3) The Hill: McConnell To Trump: We’re Not Repealing And Replacing ObamaCare House and Senate Democrats rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court Tuesday ahead of a vote on a resolution asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reverse its decision to side with a lower court ruling ObamaCare unconstitutional. The symbolic resolution will likely pass the Democratic-controlled House Wednesday, but it won’t get a vote in the Senate, where Republicans are in the majority. (Hellmann, 4/2) In related news — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Judge Lets Wisconsin Out Of 2 Obamacare Lawsuits In Victory For Evers The drumbeat of defeats grew hard to ignore. A federal judge struck down the Donald Trump administration’s plan to require some people to work for their Medicaid benefits. Another judge halted Trump’s plan to open Arctic waters to drilling. Yet another ordered an end to what critics said was the administration’s efforts to encourage an end run around the Affordable Care Act. All in the span of about a week. (Sexton, 4/2) “Not any longer.” And with that, a triumphant Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to close the book Tuesday on a divisive Republican debate, convincing President Donald Trump to shelve plans to replace the Affordable Care Act until after the 2020 election. “I made it clear to him that we were not going to be doing that in the Senate,” McConnell told reporters. (Mascaro and Lucey, 4/3) Trump May Have Pulled An About-Face On Health Law, But Renewed Attention Puts Issue In Front Of Mind For Voters After talking with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump took health care replacement off the table until after the 2020 elections. But the president’s spotlight on the issue, which many Democrats view as a winning one for them, makes it likely that it will crop up as a main talking point on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, Trump beseeches Republicans to own the topic of health care and “take it away” from the Democrats. The Associated Press: Pivoting On Pledges, Trump Explores Art Of The Climb-Down His border shutdown went from imminent to uncertain. A major health-care push was declared and then delayed. Funding cuts were inserted in his proposed budget and just as quickly taken out. President Donald Trump has been exploring the art of the climb-down. Trump pivoted on two big policy fronts this week, easing up on his threats to quickly close the southern border and deciding that a fresh effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act should wait until after the 2020 election. (4/3) The Washington Post: Trump Leaves Washington Reeling With Policy Whiplash As He Struggles With Domestic Agenda ProPublica: Trump, All About Winning, Sees Losses In Court Pile Up The House on Wednesday plans to vote on a largely symbolic resolution condemning the Trump administration for calling on the courts to overturn the 2010 health care law, escalating a messaging war that seems poised to continue through the 2020 elections. The vote is the Democrats’ latest rebuke of the Trump administration’s stance on the lawsuit brought by Texas and other conservative state attorneys general to overturn the health care law (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). The House became a party to the law’s defense earlier this year. (McIntire, 4/3) The battles illustrate the difficulties Trump and Republicans have had in adjusting to Democratic control of the House after two years of uncontested GOP power in Congress and the White House. But many Republicans say they have adapted to the pandemonium — learning to privately sway Trump by warning him of the consequences of his policy declarations, many of which are launched in late-night or early-morning tweets. GOP lawmakers, for instance, think they have successfully headed off any major health-care effort, which they fear would open them up to damaging Democratic attacks. Even so, a legal challenge targeting the Obama-era health law, and backed by the Trump administration, virtually ensures that the issue will remain at the forefront of the president’s reelection campaign. (Kim and Werner, 4/2) President Donald Trump said Republicans “blew it” on health care and will lose the 2020 election if they don’t devise a plan to repeal Obamacare that protects coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. “We blew it the last time, man I was fed a bill of goods,” Trump said Tuesday in a speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual spring dinner. “We can’t run away” from health care, he added, saying that if the party doesn’t address the issue: “we’ll lose.” (Sebenius, 4/2) Bloomberg: Trump Says GOP `Blew It’ On Health Care And Must Run On New Plan The Hill: Democrats Rally At Supreme Court Ahead Of ObamaCare Vote The New York Times: Trump Retreats On Health Care After McConnell Warns It Won’t Happen “We had a good conversation yesterday afternoon and I pointed out to him the Senate Republicans’ view on dealing with comprehensive health care reform with a Democratic House of Representatives,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday, describing his conversation with Trump. (Bolton, 4/2) The Associated Press: ‘Obamacare’ Repeal Off The Table For GOP Until After 2020 The Wall Street Journal: GOP Puts Off Unveiling New Health Plan Until After 2020 Election CQ: House To Vote On Resolution Blasting Trump’s Health Care Steps The Associated Press: Trump Tells Republicans To Embrace Health Care In 2020 Race This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.