Labor laws outdated – Matthew Leblanc

Labor Commissioner Matthew Leblanc. Photo by GIS

Dominica’s Employment Safety Act has been found wanting.

Labor Commissioner Matthew Leblanc has singled out that particular piece of legislation while suggesting that the country’s current labor laws are inadequate.

He wants the laws updated in an effort to promote safer working conditions.

“Work is a matter of human dignity. Labor laws are based on universal human rights and work is protected as a right in our legislation. I must say that we are in need of an updated labor legislation,” Leblanc said while addressing a national symposium on Workplace Health and Safety.

The Labor Commissioner is pushing for a comprehensive plan on occupational health and safety.

“We are still working under an outdated law and even the Caribbean legislation recommended by all countries of the Caribbean for recommendation, fall short of outlining a health management plan,” he said.

Meanwhile the government says it is working feverishly to reduce environmental risks and promote safer working conditions.

Health Minister Julius Timothy has acknowledged that there are many challenges which must be tackled to reduce accidents and injuries in the workplace.

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  1. Roger Burnett
    June 27, 2012

    With the exception of manufacturers with parent companies overseas, safety in the workplace leaves a lot to be desired. As a production line design engineer, I see accidents that are waiting to happen in both the private and public sector due to unguarded machinery and disorganised work places. I am sure that the most cursory safety inspector would immediately close down many factories until improvements are made.

  2. Concerned Citizen
    June 27, 2012

    Most laws are outdated

  3. people voice
    June 27, 2012

    I fink the labour commissioner should do some research where it concerns the ILO and OSH before speaking; there is more to just saying laws should be amended, i believe he should sit with the rest of the caribbean labour administrators and learn a bit from what obtains and then come out and talk; mark you, am not saying he is not on the right track because the deputy labour commissioner is a well learned personnel and will always guide him into what to say at a workshop but papa, the brother needs to at least get some labour and employment qualifications….” square peg in wrong hole???

    • Hot Shot
      June 28, 2012

      BS. The guy holds an LLB and a Diploma in Public Administration, among other qualifications. What qualifications do any of the Government Ministers have in the portfolios they manage?

  4. wage
    June 27, 2012

    I agree with the gentleman but he should also mention wages. some people work for less than $1000 which is chicken feed in this country wen bills an food deducted

  5. Sum Fing Not Wong
    June 27, 2012

    Labour Law can be a double-edged sword: on one hand it seeks to protect workers from arbitrary treatment and give them some security of tenure, but on the other hand it can interfere with the functioning and growth of enterprise, if it is too rigid. We need to find the right balance. In our current state of much unemployment, our labour laws should relax on their grip so that investors can create employment opportunities.

  6. Gwo Pwell
    June 27, 2012

    This is a good looking brother

  7. Chris
    June 27, 2012

    I have a Labour Law book at my home and I must say, that I agree with Mr. Leblanc…the laws are outdated regarding on occupational health and safety, but what about Wages… we still work for 10cents in 2012.

  8. Cal Farin
    June 27, 2012

    We also need to address why it takes so long ( I mean years) for labor cases to be concluded. Mr. Leblanc, I know you are doing your very best, but this doesn’t make sense that someone has to wait 8-10 years for a case to be called.

    The influence of politics/politicians is too deep and poor people suffer just to get justice. Employers with political affiliation to the present administration always get a pat on the back and continue to brutalize employees with long hours at minimum wages, treated with disrespect while they continue to work hard.

    Please see how well we can speed up the case(s) process in Dominica….. Right now, it’s pathetic.

    • Gwo Pwell
      June 27, 2012

      What causes Cal Farin???

      • Anonymous
        June 28, 2012

        A Gwo Pwell.

  9. I am
    June 27, 2012

    Look up the meaning between (LABOR and LABOUR) and you will get the difference.

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2012

      Stupes. There is no difference in meaning. Labor is the American spelling and labour is the British spelling which we use. I do not know why DNO is using the American spelling but the story is the same.

  10. Fireman
    June 27, 2012

    Ross boy I see you going on wid things boy. One more Cuban graduate doing his thing. Continue looking out for the interest of the working class. Hasta La vitoria siempre.

    • @WELL
      June 27, 2012

      ???????????? Your point is?

      • Fireman
        June 28, 2012

        Your point is???????????????????????????????

  11. Dave Thomas
    June 27, 2012

    There are labour laws in Dominica???

  12. Boldaz
    June 27, 2012

    I do not want to be a snob here regarding American English but since when we spelling LABOUR without a “u”.

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2012

      I would like to know myself.

    • G
      June 27, 2012

      Thats not the point stop being childish the root is all the same

  13. spy
    June 27, 2012

    Make show when all you updating the labour law put more money on the pay.

  14. Satelite
    June 27, 2012

    This is just one, there are many others on the books which are antiquated, and are very much in need of updating.

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