Labour Commissioner Matthew Leblanc

Labour Commissioner Matthew Leblanc

Labour Commissioner Mathew Leblanc has described some employers as “renegades”, who renege on paying their workers and made it fundamentally clear that this has to stop.

Leblanc was a guest on DBS Radio’s “Talking Point” this week.

“I am saying this loud for all these stubborn renegade employers who are doing this to stop it. If you cannot pay the people, make it clear to them. You cannot do this to poor people who have their children to send to school and their bills to pay. If you employ them, they deliver, you should not find it hard to pay them from the profit you made,” he said.

He said the Labour Division has been having discussions with several employers about these issues.

“We advise them that they cannot remain in business if they are unable to pay staff. We don’t want anybody to be out of job. We don’t want any camouflage slavery or abuse of people’s liberty. If you get the service you need, provide the pay,” he warned.

Meanwhile, Leblanc has given Dominica’s industrial climate good ratings.

He said despite what the world has described as a global credit crunch and whiles several countries are cutting back their labour force, Dominica seems to be doing well.

 “Considering the hardship that we are enduring now with the contraction of the world economy, we have been able to survive. You hear on the air of all the redundancies being made and people losing their job and this is a sad thing. For us labour officers this is a major injury,” he said.

He gave kudos to some of the trade unions in Dominica for what he says has been a period of efficient negotiation to keep workers on the job.

“Our trade unions have had a different approach. We can’t always be confrontational. There were times when that was effective and now I think engaging in efficient negotiation is important. A trade union’s strength is in its membership…” he said.