Trade Unions Must Maintain Relevance – JCTU President


President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Mr. Lloyd Goodleigh, has emphasised that the trade union movement must maintain a high level of professionalism and relevance, which are key elements in a globalised society.
“We have to acknowledge that in a globalised world, we are but one major institution in a labour market that we practise industrial relations, and that our survival is dependent on our level of professionalism and our relevance, in fast changing circumstances,” he argued.
Mr. Goodleigh was addressing the topic: ‘Whither the Trade Union Movement’, at a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), on April 9, in honour of the late Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the UWI, Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford.

Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson (at podium), emphasises a point as he chairs a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), on Friday, April 9, in honour of the late Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the UWI, Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford.

The President said that going forward, trade union organisations will have to have open systems, be more democratic, and ensure that they are “healthy institutions for individual development.”
“Most importantly, at this juncture in Jamaica’s socio- political history, unions must use the present circumstances of economic scarcity and technological imperative to address the question of comprehensive labour market reform, because it is now accepted that in order to maximise or even make gains from structural adjustment, comprehensive labour market reform is crucial,” he said.
He noted further that trade unions must ensure that Government and governance have the necessary resources, abilities and power necessary to equip Jamaicans with the knowledge capacity and the social protection to allow them to cope with a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, who chaired the session, recalled that the late Professor was very passionate about the development of the trade union movement, and about ensuring that trade union activists had the necessary education to be able to carry out their functions.

President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), Mr. Lloyd Goodleigh, addresses a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, at the University of the West Indies (UWI), on Friday, April 9, in honour of the late Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the UWI, Professor the Hon. Rex Nettleford.

Professor Nettleford, who was born on February 3, 1933 in Falmouth, Trelawny, was recognised for his involvement in the arts and his vast contribution to academia. He was Professor of Extra Mural Studies at the UWI, headed the Trade Union Education Institution and founded the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC).
The three-day symposium, which began on April 7, focused on the life and works of the late Professor, who died at the age of 76, on February 2 , at the George Washington Hospital, in Washington, D.C., in the United States.

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