Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has welcomed the harmonious industrial relations climate, which the country has been enjoying in recent years.
In his inaugural address as Chairman of the Labour Advisory Council (LAC), at that body's first meeting for 2012, at the Ministry, in downtown Kingston, last week, Mr. Kellier noted that Jamaica’s industrial relations landscape had seen a transition from the “adversarial atmosphere,” which previously existed among stakeholders, to one where management and the workforce are more co-operative.
"This is due, in no small part, to the effectiveness of the LAC, where employers and workers join together to promote enterprise and productivity. I look forward to continued discussion (among the stakeholders) to build on the achievements of the LAC over the years,” the Minister said.
Mr. Kellier pointed out that there are great expectations of the LAC’s input in terms of maintaining a stable industrial relations climate, which will instill confidence, particularly among investors, thereby ensuring full belief that if they decide to invest in Jamaica, “they will be able to find a country that is very much balanced, in terms of the relation between labour and management."
In this regard, the Minister welcomed Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller’s decision to relocate the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), back to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
“It is really a statement that she is making to say to us that we must put productivity at the centre of all that we do, and ensure that we can really play our part in getting the economy going," Mr. Kellier said.
President General, Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and LAC member, Senator Kavan Gayle, in endorsing Mr. Kellier's sentiments, attributed the harmonious industrial climate, in part, to the input of the Ministry’s Conciliatory Unit, whose work he described as “critical."
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