Workers’ Day message
DON’T LOSE SIGHT of the importance of today’s national May Day celebrations.
That warning is coming from the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) as Barbados joins with the over 80 countries around the world in observing the annual celebration of International Workers’ Day.
“The congress, as the national trade union centre, is today calling on all workers and the working class people of Barbados not to lose sight of the significance of the annual International Workers’ Day celebrations.
“It is important to remember that it is about commemorating the historic struggle of working people throughout the world,” CTUSAB’s general secretary Dennis De Peiza said in his May Day message.
“Our history would have taught us that here in Barbados and across the English-speaking Caribbean, the early struggles were based on championing the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, and securing improved working conditions for workers,” De Peiza said.
“Much to the credit of the labour movement, it remains committed to the cause of representing and safeguarding the interest of working class people,” the CTUSAB general secretary noted.
De Peiza said it was imperative that the local movement seized the moment today to reflection the contribution of trade union leaders over the years to the cause of labour, and to the economic, social and political development and well-being of an independent and developing Barbadian society.
“The CTUSAB urges all Barbadians to join with it in remembering the sterling contributions of national heroes Grantley Herbert Adams, Hugh Springer, Frank Leslie Walcott, Clement Payne, Charles Duncan O’Neal, Bussa, Sarah Ann Gill and Errol Walton Barrow made on behalf of the masses.
“CTUSAB also acknowledges the contribution of Senator Sir Roy Trotman, the long-standing general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union and former president of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados.”
The general secretary said CTUSAB remained committed to the primary goal of the International Labour Organization (ILO) of promoting opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
“CTUSAB strongly believes that this goal is attainable through the embrace of the decent work agenda, which speaks to the promotion of fundamental principles and rights at work, employment creation, social protection and social dialogue.
“With the ever changing global industrial landscape, it is important now more than ever that the labour movement maintains its strength and character and, moreover, to be proactive in meeting the challenges of the time,” De Peiza said.
“If the local movement is to be successful in this quest, it requires that a sense of maturity continues to prevail and that there is a renewed commitment to a common sense of purpose,” he added.
De Peiza noted that CTUSAB remained a proud member of the Social Partnership of Barbados, and it was under no illusion that it had served Barbados well ever since it came into being following the economic crisis of 1991.
“The congress reaffirms its commitment to industrial harmony by the application of the very concept of voluntarism and through the observance of the principles of tripartism as established by the ILO.
“We are proud of the fact that through engagement of the tripartite mechanism, Barbados now has put into law a Safety And Health At Work Act and an Employment Rights Act.
“This is testimony to the progressive work plan that continues to engage the Social Partnership.
“At this time, discussions are ongoing at arriving at a new Holidays With Pay Act,” he concluded.
De Peiza said CTUSAB wanted to assure all workers, employers and Government that it would continue to be a model for the world in consensus building and harmonious industrial relations within a unique tripartite system.
He also called on workers, all workers’ organizations, Government and the private sector to embrace its motto of Working Together For The Good Of All. (BA/PR)