Modern economies demand ‘quicker solutions’Gail Springer. (FP)
Sat, June 02, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Barbados needs to find a “perfect marriage” between free collective bargaining and state regulation, says human resources and industrial relations specialist Gail Springer.
She said all modern economies have institutionalized some aspects of their employment relations and Barbados will therefore be required to follow suit.
However, she noted that there are some elements of the voluntaristic system that work well in our society because of our culture of debating issues and finding solutions.
Still, Springer said there are times when this system “governed by gentlemen’s agreements often results in win-lose situations rather than win-win”.
She made the comments recently during a Barbados Employers’ Confederation panel discussion on Voluntarism Or State Regulation: The Way Forward For Barbados.
“We have a system that we have developed over time to serve the purpose and we have used it to serve, but now it is being called upon to do something greater and that is where we have the problems,” she said.
Speaking during the event at the Grand Salle of the Tom Adams Financial Centre, Springer said the “new players” of the younger generation are less tolerant of working matters through and have a different work ethic.
Furthermore, she said, employers are also coming from “different backgrounds”.
Springer noted that wildcat strikes and sickouts can result when unions have difficulty convincing members that the voluntaristic approach to solving problems is appropriate.
“You have employer and union sitting at the table trying to work a solution out . . . but because of the type of environment that we have in Barbados at the moment, people are less tolerant, people want quick solutions.
“They may not want the long meetings of three hours that we may have, so our system is not working to serve that purpose and as a result you get these flare-ups from time to time,” she said.
Springer said the thrust of globalization and the impact of emerging global companies investing in Barbados necessitate a facilitative legal framework that is balanced and protects both the rights of workers and the rights of employers. (NB)
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