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CTUSAB disappointed with tribunal delay

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

CTUSAB disappointed with tribunal delay

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THE CONGRESS of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) has joined with the National Union of Public Workers and the Barbados Workers’ Union in expressing “extreme disappointment” that sixteen months after the appointment of the Employment Rights Tribunal not a single case has been heard. 
And it has called on the Government to immediately provide the human and physical resources to enable the Tribunal to commence the formal hearing of complaints.
“To date no suitable venue for meetings has as yet been made available to the Tribunal and the essential professional services have not been provided.
“CTUSAB strongly contends that these developments have had a crippling effect on the Tribunal’s ability to commence hearings.  They have also impeded the promise by Government to expeditiously deal with the issue of the dismissals at the National Conservation Commission,” CTUSAB president Cedric Murrell said in a release issued this afternoon.
The Congress said it was its understanding that more than 75 cases are now before the Tribunal.
“Given the economic situation facing the country and the tendency of employers to engage in labour practices which at times infringe the rights of employees, the Congress fears that if the Tribunal is not able to commence its work soon, the number of cases to be heard will overwhelm its capacity,” the release stated.
The Congress also stressed the need for the parties to disputes to strive for expeditious resolution wherever possible, through the use of the conciliatory machinery prescribed in the legislation. It said the need to strengthen the conciliation services of the Labour Department, in particular the skills of conciliation officers, must be given the highest priority.
“Such remedial action would enhance the process of dispute resolution within the tradition of voluntarism that has served the practice of industrial relations in Barbados exceptionally well over the years.
“The Congress therefore calls on the relevant stakeholders to spare no effort to resolve disputes at the level of the Labour Department,” it said.
CTUSAB made special reference to the need for employers to empower their representatives to reach a speedy resolution of industrial disputes to the satisfaction of aggrieved employees.
“The Congress reiterates its strong support for the principles behind the establishment of the legislation which seeks to provide employees with increased access to social justice, but considers that such an outcome could only be achieved through an abiding commitment by all parties, to attain the objective of the Employment Rights Act,” the statement concluded. (PR/NB)