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