Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has given an undertaking to re-commit the Labour Advisory Council (LAC) to the mission of being part of the country’s governance process.
This, he says, is to ensure that significant accruable benefits are generated, which will redound to the national interest.
Making his inaugural address as LAC Chairman, at its first meeting for 2012, at the Ministry’s North Street offices, downtown Kingston, on February 15, Mr. Kellier explained that the tripartite Council, comprising representatives from the Government, employers and workers, is a pivotal part of the country’s labour market activity, as well as in investment promotion and overall economic and social planning.
He argued that this has placed the Council in the “enviable” position of being able to articulate the needs of Jamaicans, and influence policy and programmes, for the national good.
“This committee represents the interests of employers and investors, and labour as a real form of capital, and the government in a partnership that is essential for the way forward. I think that economic policies, especially labour policies, have benefitted tremendously from the discussions at this level and in these fora. And, it is important to have this cohesion of interest, expertise and willpower to improve the economy of this country,” the Minister said.
Priority issues on which the Council will focus this year, include: unemployment and job creation; productivity; the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC); labour market surveys; social protection for the society’s vulnerable; and entrepreneurship.
“I hope that this period in which we (have) embarked, will be a very productive one. I hope that these meetings will be convened regularly and be held on a tight schedule, in order that we can discuss a wide range of issues, and especially matters that will impact on the national interest,’ Mr. Kellier said.
The tripartite Labour Advisory Council comprises members of the Ministry, representing the Government; the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF); and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), representing workers.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter