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Happy New Year
Monday, 05 January 2015 00:00

We are into a new Year and we offer thanks and praises to the Almighty God for allowing us to enter another year. During the end of the past year, we started to see a glimmer of hope insofar as our economy is concerned, especially in tourism, and we pray that this country, with the help of God, and the will of our people to commit themselves to working harder and smarter, would realize growth, particularly in our productive sectors.

With the economy in the USA experiencing growth during the last quarter of 2014, we are hopeful that that tourism figures from that country would reflect increases in the number of visitors from that country. We are also hopeful that some of the projects, spoken about, earlier in the year would start. We also believe that much more could be done in the agricultural sector as there is too much wastage with regard to agricultural land, too much of which has been allowed to degrade into bush and grass.

We strongly believe that Barbados can pull itself from the crisis, but this will only be achieved, firstly, by trusting in God, by strong and creative leadership from all sectors, and a commitment by every Barbadian person to put in that extra effort to drive the country forward.

This year, 2015, will mark an important two-year period for Labour in Barbados. This year, the Ministry of Labour will be marking the 75th anniversary of the establishing of the Labour Department; and next year, the year 2016, the Barbados Workers’ Union will be marking the 75th year of it founding. The next 24 months will be a period of celebration and reflection as the Ministry of Labour and the Labour Movement, the Barbados Workers’ Union, in particular, review Labour’s contribution to the development of Barbados and the stability of the industrial relations system in the country.

Both institutions were formed on the recommendations of the Royal West India Commission, also known as the Lord Moyne Commission, which investigated the 1937 Disturbances in Barbados.

There can be no doubt, even in the minds of the naysayers that the Labour Department and the Barbados Workers’ Union have made significant contributions to Barbados’ development, through their efforts in creating stability at the workplace. The BWU, through its dynamic leadership and its foot soldiers, over the past seventy years, have worked vibrantly to wage war against injustices at every level of our society, but particularly, at the level of the workplace. And we make the point that it has been a key institution in our development, since, in the words of Guy Perrin, the island’s first Labor Commissioner, writing in 1945, the most unhappy state of affairs I to have a community with a smoldering sense of injustice which has no voice or outlet. The Barbados Worker’ Union has provided that safety valve and has given Labour an opportunity of cooperating with capital in the determination of wages, working conditions and freedom of expression.

 

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