ELBASAN, Albania (AP):Portugal closed in on a spot at the European Championship after midfielder Miguel Veloso scored in injury time to snatch a 1-0 win from Albania in qualifying yesterday.Both teams had hit the woodwork before Veloso headed in substitute Ricardo Quaresma’s pass for the late winner.”I thought the ball was for me, and fortunately, it made it,” Veloso said.Elsewhere, Denmark was stymied by Armenia for a second 0-0 draw in four days, complicating the Danes’ chances to secure a berth for the 2016 tournament with a top-two finish in the group.Portugal increased its lead of Group I to 15 points. Denmark has 12 while Albania has 11, but both Portugal and Albania have a game in hand.Portugal’s Nani hit the goal frame in the 13th minute, while Sokol Cikalleshi of Albania sent a shot off the bar in the 75th.Two minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo had an opportunity to put Portugal in front, but goalkeeper Etrit Berisha made a save.The victory came exactly one year after Albania stunned Portugal 1-0.Armenia has two points, while Serbia is in last place with one.”After halftime our team had one of its worst matches,” said Denmark coach Morten Olsen. “We failed in the last 20 minutes. The Armenians also proved they can play. The fact they have only got two points must be a mistake.”Portugal hosts Denmark on Oct. 8 when a draw will be enough to qualify, while Albania plays Serbia at home.
…unions need to regain confidence of membersBy Samuel SukhnandanAlthough trade unions have come together to host one May Day Rally again this year, President of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), Coretta McDonald believes that healing the wounds of the movement in Guyana still requires extensive work and time.While acknowledging that there have been efforts to rebuild and establish a unified movement, McDonald said the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) and the GTUC still operate independent of each other, following a split in 1988.FITUG, whose members include the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) and the National Association of Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Employees (NAACIE), had up to 2015 maintained a separation from the GTUC.However, the GTUC President said one of the first steps to address this issue began last year when both bodies decided to host one May Day rally for the first time in over 25 years.“We still have a deep wound. There has been some bit of healing beginning in 2015. It was a major leap in helping to heal that wound. We hope that the trade union movement would be able to stand on its own footing soon,” the GTUC official told Guyana Times on Sunday.McDonald said it must be recognised that the goals and objectives of every trade union were the same and the only difference that existed was “personality issues”, which, “we are hoping at some point we would be able to decide and put aside political differences”.She continued: “When it comes to workers and workers’ rights, politics can’t help us there. We have to sit together as a trade union movement and ensure that workers receive the best.”McDonald noted too that unless the fractured trade union movement was unified and the apparent rivalry between union leaders ended, it would continue to be disrespected.The strength of the trade union movement, according to her, depends on each union joining forces together with their partners under one umbrella body.There has been a gradual decline of trade unions’ strength owing to changes in the Public Sector and the industrial relations climate, among other issues.ChallengesHighlighting some of the challenges being faced in the movement, the GTUC President told Guyana Times that sound leadership was of paramount importance to any strong union. However, this was lacking in some instances in unions across the country.“In many of the unions, you have leaders there, who for whatever reasons, they are not that strong to command their members and you would have quite a lot of people, who are not interested in becoming members of the union, because they see them as very toothless,” she opined.Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) PresidentCoretta McDonaldTo reverse this trend, McDonald said unions have to begin retraining their leaders and look at more attractive ways in which they could get people to join the movement.She said, “What we have to do is work on regaining the confidence of your members. We have to first, as leaders, sit together and work together, so when our members see the leaders working together, then members would want to follow suit.”Outside of that, McDonald said unions would also have to plan programmes for training so that they can build capacity within the respective bodies. “And when that is done, our workers are going to be confident and be able to understand what their rights and responsibilities are. Where they should go and where they shouldn’t.”She also recognised that there has been a slight decline in membership at the Guyana Postal and Telecommunication Workers Union (GPTWU) and GAWU owing to cuts made to the labour force in their respective sectors.Activities to observe May Day 2017 began on Sunday, with a church service at the St James the Less Church on David Street in Kitty, Georgetown. A wreath-laying and tribute ceremony to pay homage to the Father of the Trade Union Movement, Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow at the forecourt of the Parliament Building also took place on Sunday.Today, the usual rally will feature addresses by leaders of FITUG and GTUC, as well as representatives of the Government and the Opposition.This year’s celebrations will be observed under the theme: “Organising – Necessary Pre-requisite In Building A Strong United Trade Union Movement.”