Trades union congress elusive

An umbrella organization continues to elude the labor movement in Dominica.

The island’s trade unions have for years talked about the need for a Trades Union Congress, but to date nothing has come of that articulated need.

The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) says it is quite prepared to go ahead with the establishment of a TUC with one or two unions, if the others feel unable to embrace such a move at this time.

DPSU General Secretary Thomas Letang says some unions want to wait until all of the island’s trade unions are ready to move forward with the idea.

However he says a TUC might not see the light of day with such an approach.

“Some of us who are ready are not in favor of leaving the others behind.  My position and that of my union is that if we have three unions that are interested in forming the congress, let us go ahead,” he told DNO.

“We have another union that is very interested but that union would want to have maybe everybody on board,” he said without naming the union, thought to be the Waterfront and Allied Workers Union (WAWU).

“If tomorrow morning, another one or two unions would be interested in starting that congress, the DPSU would be right there with them,” Letang said.

Asked whether the Labor movement was that strong at the moment to have such a congress, the veteran trade union leader suggested that the umbrella body would help strengthen the movement.

“I don’t think you have to depend on how strong a Labor movement is to organize a congress.  As a matter of fact what I believe that congress would do is to help to get the Labor movement even stronger,”  he told DNO.

According to Letang WAWU is very interested in the setting up of a TUC.

He recalls that WAWU and the DPSU had earlier been mandated to develop a draft constitution, a task which was completed.

He says there are two other unions which have not demonstrated any interest in seeing a TUC established – he did not name the two.

Union activity in Dominica these days appear to be largely low-profiled

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4 Comments

  1. From Dominica
    April 29, 2012

    The DAWU does exist. It is alive and well. It address the issues of its members, and wins all oustanding matters relating to its members. Even today staff are winning “big”. The DAWU speaks when it has too. There are leaders who are always on the radio, t.v etc, but at heart, do not practice what they preach, but of course you do not know that. And the DAWU does not shout from the mountain top.

  2. From Dominica
    April 28, 2012

    I recall sitting at meetings years ago, trying to get a TUC going. To no avail. Every leader then wanted to be “The Leader” of the TUC. We got nowhere then. To date the situation has not changed. The WAWU, speaks of a TCU, but how can this happen, when they are even today, still croaching on the other unions. And what about the PSU, that is able to get into the private sector and present workers, while on the other hand, the other unions cannot represent “Public Servants”. Appeal to the Government to change the law, remains unheard. This is really an unfair situation. The animosity among the leaders, continues underneath. There cannot be a TUC, until justice prevails among the very “Leaders”.

  3. Mujahardin
    April 27, 2012

    The only Congress Dominica Association of Teachers is interested in, is the Congress of Organizations in support of Skerrit.

    • Anonymous
      April 28, 2012

      so true .The DAT has always run from the issues .It has remain silent on everything be it pension,parry’s statement,salaries or whatever .A real puppet.Curtis Augustus you a re suppose to be experienced join the DPSU in moving with the congress .DAWU does not exsit .DTU has no members and NWU does not practise any trade union dmocracy- no election ,no meetings, no audited financial statement to members

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