Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is calling on employers to develop new ways to improve productivity and achieve harmony in the workplace.
He said if management and labour work harder to attain greater levels of industrial harmony much more social stability and economic development can be achieved.
“I believe this is an attainable goal, but will require improved levels of conciliation in our industrial relations landscape. There are still too many work stoppages in relation to wages, and bad conditions of employment, resulting in unacceptable levels of man-days lost for us to be complacent,” he stated.
Minister Kellier was delivering the keynote address on May 3 opening of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s (JEF) annual business and workplace convention and expo at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
He said with greater harmony between management and labour, Jamaica can enter a new paradigm of industrial relations “and then we would be well on our way as a society, in creating an environment within which people could be better organised to innovate, experiment and implement ideas relevant to changing national realities”.
Turning to the importance of training, Minister Kellier pointed to the need for the private sector to do more to improve the skill level of workers.
He said the government’s current employment initiative, the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), is largely about persons developing and acquiring new skills.
“We are of the view that private sector employers will need to influence the public sector far more than they have, hitherto done, in terms of enhancing the quality of employment-related training, and employment creation,” he stated.
The four-day JEF convention is being held under the theme: ‘Execute, Grow, Sustain.’
By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter