Labour Commissioner Matthew Leblanc is of the view that social dialogue is crucial in addressing the many issues that employees and employers currently face.
Leblanc was addressing an International Labor Organization (ILO) programme for Caribbean Employers Federation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), national BIPARTITE meeting which took place at the Fort Young Hotel on Monday 13th July 2015.
“We also believe that social dialogue is the most important approach in dealing with the many issues which arise from time to time. There must be engagement among all parties and between employees and employee’s representative,” he said. “We must sit and talk. Allow to express our concerns and work together towards solving our problems.”
Leblanc said it is his hope that employees, employers and the government and other social partners work together in order to guarantee decent work for all in face of a changing and challenging world.
“This is really, very important: dialogue, engagement and all levels of discussions that can encourage a better standard of living for all our people and better work conditions, promoting the decent work agenda and ensuring that persons who are deprived, who have been stigmatized, such as HIV patients, can also work in conditions where there are policies that protect their rights and eliminate or remove the impact on stigmatization and encourage inclusion,” he noted.
The Executive Director of the Dominica Employers Federation (DEF), Archille Joseph lamented that employees and workers organizations whom he refers to as the “movers of the business and industry” are often “left out” during the decision making process in the region including from CARICOM Community and Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
He is hoping this will change.
“So at the end of it all, I am really hopeful that we will have a much more integral part to play and a place in the process in the regional decision making,” he pointed out.
Meantime the President of the Dominica Public Service Union (PSU), Steve Joseph is calling for stronger organizations for both at the level of the employers and employees representative bodies.
“I trust that we recognize the importance of that level of collaboration for the development of the region as well as for the development for the respective countries,” he noted.
The meeting is being funded by the European Union.
The importance of regional social dialogue mechanisms to support the CSME, in-depth overview: plan of action and joint areas of work, presentation on CSME program, presentation of CCL’s program are areas of discourse expected.