Tripartite approach suggested for pushing integration
One labour minister says trade unions and non-government groups need to get in on the integration effort.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday May 23, 2011 – Grenada’s Labour Minister Glynis Roberts says efforts at further Caribbean integration must also be championed by trade unions and non-governmental groups such as private sector organizations.
“Governments must not be seen as being alone in pushing the integration process,’’ Minister Roberts said in an address at the recently-concluded ‘Tripartism and Social Dialogue: Comparative Experiences in Dealing with Economic and Social Development Issues’ symposium in Barbados.
Roberts, who is also Minister of Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, said both the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OCES) need greater input from labour and non-governmental organizations in decisions that affect the people of the region.
“We need to lobby for inclusion of the social partners, including the non-governmental organizations, on key committees and organs of both CARICOM and the OECS. Consultation with the social partners on important decisions affecting the people, and development of the region, must take place and must be key watchwords of the integration process,” she said during a panel discussion.
The Grenadian Minister suggested a “tripartite approach’’ to educating nationals on specific issues such as the free movement of people across the region; the development of common certification and standards in education, training and job requirements; and in drafting legislation to “ensure that workers’ benefits are preserved as they move from state to state.’’
Roberts said that since each of the social partners represents an important interest group, they have a responsibility to those they represent to work together to advance those people’s cause and influence decisions which will have an impact on their lives.
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