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Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the industrial relations landscape remains stable, despite an increase in the number of disputes reported.

This, he says, has been due to the Ministry’s ability to adequately address and resolve the issues.

“Despite some increase in the number of reported cases, I am happy to report that the Ministry has the capacity and the mechanism to respond and settle most of these cases,” the Minister said, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House, on Tuesday, June 4.

He noted that the Industrial Relations section of the Ministry has continued its mission of promoting and maintaining industrial peace throughout Jamaica, given that a stable environment is important for productivity and growth.

“Despite the increase in the number of disputes reported, there has been a 40 per cent decrease in the number of work stoppages – a clear signal that the Jamaican workforce is operating in a robust and mature industrial relations environment,” he informed.

Citing figures from 2011/12, the Mr. Kellier noted that the Ministry was able to resolve 199 or 69 per cent of the 289 disputes reported. For last year, 379 disputes were reported, with 320 or 84 per cent of the cases settled.

The Minister noted that these results can also be attributed to stakeholders becoming increasingly aware of the importance of industrial stability to the nation.

“It also demonstrates the maturity that is needed in building a nation, as we strive for a productivity revolution to stimulate growth in the economy,” he said.

Mr. Kellier pointed out that the Ministry continues to work with organisations, schools and other institutions to sensitise the nation about the Labour Code and Labour Laws.

“I would like to take this opportunity to formally recognise the Jamaica Household Workers Union as a licensed association to represent and promote the interests of some important players in the process of nation-building. The association was duly recognised by the International Labour Organization (ILO),” he added.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards