JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, has cited dispute settlement, investment in human resource development and overseas employment, as some of the areas that will be given focus this year.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Charles stated that disputes and strikes do not have to occur, because there are special tribunals to handle some of the issues that affect workers.
“There is absolutely no need for a strike. If there is a dispute at the workplace, you have a union, you have management [and] unless one party refuses to meet, there should be no dispute there. So therefore, if the Ministry and the staff cannot intervene and have a settlement, the IDT (Industrial Disputes Tribunal) is standing by or the courts, or a special tribunal,” he stated.
“You strike because you want a settlement of dispute, therefore, if there is a medium to settle the dispute, why do you strike?” he questioned. Noting that the role of the Ministry is to ensure partnership among all parties involved in a dispute, Minister Charles said “we want to make sure that there is settlement of disputes at an acceptable level between the union, the management and the country”.
“There must be a partnership that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security must enforce and recognize,” he stressed.
According to the Labour Minister, there are serious problems within the workplace that do not cost money to rectify. “There are certain problems in a workplace that is just recognition and respect,” he pointed out, adding that “we must recognize that our police and our nurses do their job altruistically”.
As it relates to the development of human resources, the Minister explained that an investment in this area can have a rippled effect on overseas employment. “There are great employment opportunities in Canada for skilled workers [and] this year, we are going to see to it that thousands of workers are upgraded,” he assured, pointing out that construction companies seeking to recruit workers are now being asked to return to apprenticeship programmes. Last year, thousands of workers showed up for the Ministry’s job fair. However, many were turned away, because they were not certified. In an effort to solve this problem, the Ministry partnered with the Heart Trust/NTA to ensure the certification of all workers.

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