General Secretary od CTUSAB Dennis de Peiza (FP)
ON THE 49th anniversary of Independence, Barbados as a small island developing state stands as a beacon on the world stage.
As a people, Barbadians can use this occasion not only to celebrate the milestone that has been reached, but to reflect on where we are to date. It is for us to take pride in how far we have come as a people and as a country and challenge ourselves to achieving more; even beyond the realms of our expectations.
As we reflect on the journey and achievements of this country over the last 49 years as an independent nation, let us be conscious of the fact that it is for all Barbadians, whether residing at home or abroad, to reaffirm their loyalty and commitment to the building of a bigger and better Barbados. This can be best reflected by exhibiting a spirit of nationalism and patriotism.
As a progressive, developing small island society and economy similar to Singapore, Barbados can today be proud of global rating as listed by the United Nations Development Programme’s 2014 Human Development Report, where it rated in the 59th position out of a total of 180 countries.
The growth and development of which the country now boasts, is attributed to the maintenance of a stable political and labour relations climate, a highly productive workforce and the overall commitment to following the democratic principles and ideals.
The vision towards building a bigger and brighter Barbados has over the past 20 years been accelerated by the commitment of Government, capital and labour to the development of a Social Partnership model. The model has been described as unique in its functioning, and has become the template for the world to follow.
The social partners have committed to a formal structure to govern their continued collaboration and consultation on fundamental issues affecting their individual and collective contribution to all aspects of national development. This approach has and continues to serve the interests of Barbados well.
As a collective, the social partners have promoted unity of purpose, and respect for the human and civil rights of the people. Today the nation can take pride in the fact that our people have generally continued to demonstrate respect for law and order, maintained a high level of civic mindedness and respect for religious tolerance. These are some of the things which plague and undermine the stability and progress of countries across the world.
In looking towards the future, we as Barbadians should not become complacent, or rest on our laurels and past achievements. We must affirm our aspirations to the building of a better and brighter Barbados.
It is important that Barbados remains a disciplined and orderly society, and that Barbadians demonstrate a strong commitment to pride and industry and to the observance of shared values.
Today, the labour movement is justly proud of the role it has played in the building of this independent nation.
The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados salutes the nation on the celebration of its 49th Independence anniversary celebrations, and at the start of its 50 years as an independent nation, gives the assurance that it will continue to work for the good of all; as it seeks to promote the interest of its members, and generally to advance the social and economic welfare of the workers of Barbados.
Happy 49th birthday Barbados, and may God bless BIM on this Independence Day.