The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) on Thursday expressed its disappointment in the Labour Department, as it noted that workers can no longer count on the entity to address it issues objectively.The Union’s distrust of the Labour Department comes one day after the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) noted it plans to resume strike action, this time on a larger scale with the support of its sister Unions, after Labour Minister Keith Scott imposed an arbitrator in the wages between GTU and the Education Ministry.“From the FITUG’s point of view, the actions of the Ministry, and more particular the Minister, does very little, if anything, to repose workers confidence in the Department of Labour and more so the Administration’s concern for the plight of our country’s working-class. Indeed, it seems, the workers can no longer count on the Labour Department as an ally.”The Union added that it is a “disappointing turn of events, especially when we take into account its proud past of standing with workers to ensure that they are respected. The reversal of sorts is yet another clear demonstration of the Administration’s dim regard for the country’s working people.”According to the Union, Minister Keith Scott would have over stepped his boundary by introducing a Chairman for the arbitration panel to resolve the ongoing issue of salary increase for teachers. Moreover, FITUG deemed the minister’s action as a manifestation to undermine teachers and the GTU.FITUG argued that the move made by the minister is “dismaying and utterly reprehensible” since the very minister is responsible for upholding workers’ rights. “The Minister, from our point of view, is far removed from his boundary and has gotten himself in uncharted waters from which he has, in our view, no justification to enter. It seems clearly that he has misunderstood his role and is causing serious damage in its wake,” the union asserted.It was on that note that FITUG contended that the Government should urgently engage in damage control and seek to correct the several missteps it has made. The Administration should in fact give serious consideration as to whether it wants to continue to have Minister Scott as its front man on this issue recognising the serious damage his actions have done to the credibility of the Department of which he is the political head, the trade union added.
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – “The Right Stuff” is going “Star Wars” as Edwards Air Force Base personnel prepare to test aircraft armed with laser weapons. Documents made public by the Air Force show base officials are preparing an environmental assessment in preparation for conducting flight and ground tests of aircraft equipped with lasers: up to 140 flight tests and 24 ground tests this year, growing to 394 flight tests with 24 ground tests in 2010. “Edwards Air Force Base is a cost-effective location for testing different laser technologies because of its facilities, its remote location, and its previous success and use as one of the nation’s premier test and evaluation flight test centers,” a draft of the environmental assessment stated. “Thus, to continue providing the Air Force with a highly capable aircraft and aircraft weapons system test and evaluation capability, it is essential that the Air Force Flight Test Center conduct test and evaluation of laser systems.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Testing would be confined to restricted military airspace. Target areas for air-to-ground testing would be limited to five acres in size and there would be no more than 100 acres total designated for such use, the draft environmental assessment said. Edwards is already hosting one laser program, the Airborne Laser, an aircraft weapon being developed to shoot down ballistic missiles. A unit of about 750 people are working on the program, which uses a significantly modified Boeing 747 fitted with a laser. Airborne Laser program officials envision future Airborne Laser aircraft patrolling in pairs at more than 40,000 feet and inside friendly territory, scanning the horizon for missiles. When a missile is detected, a set of lasers will track and illuminate it, and computers will measure the distance and calculate its course and direction. A second high-energy laser, fired through the nose turret mounted on the aircraft, will destroy the missile. The laser is made up of six modules, each weighing 4,500 pounds and about the size of a sport utility vehicle turned on its end. The beam will heat an area about the diameter of a basketball on the missile’s relatively fragile fuel-tank casing. The laser will weaken metal already under high pressure from the ignited rocket fuel. Ground tests of the laser were conducted at Edwards over an 11-month period, ending last December with a laser shot long enough and powerful enough that officials said it would have been capable of destroying a ballistic missile. The Airborne Laser aircraft is now in Kansas being fitted with two illuminator lasers. The airplane is expected to return to Edwards late this summer or early fall for flight tests to check out the illuminating lasers. The high-energy laser will be installed on the airplane in 2007. A key milestone for the program will be a test to shoot down a missile in 2008. Another weapon system reported in the Air Force document is the Advanced Tactical Laser, intended to destroy or disable a target on the ground without hurting buildings or people around it. Sponsored by the Air Force Special Operations Command, the program is looking to develop a weapon that could fire a narrow beam, about four inches in diameter, with blow-torch-like heat in a “man-made bolt of lightning.” [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!