Workers told to speak out on productivity

Minister of Labour Esther Byer-Suckoo is expressing concerns that not enough is being heard from workers regarding productivity on the island.

Speaking at the opening of a town hall meeting on productivity at the Princess Margaret Secondary School hall recently, Byer-Suckoo suggested that employees speak out on the issue since they too were being affected.

Adding that while the island was ranked high in terms of global competitiveness, Byer-Suckoo said there was still some challenges relating to work ethics, pay and productivity.

“Those are issues that we still have to grapple with,” she said.

“As we talk about productivity in Barbados we hear from the employers very often, we hear from educators and representatives in Government [about] who is to blame for lack of productivity and what is to be done,” she said, “but I haven’t heard enough from where I sit – from the workers, what their view is on productivity, what are the factors that are affecting the low productivity or if in deed the workers believe that we do have a problem with productivity. We may think so from one aspect and the workers may very well think that there isn’t a challenge,”                said Byer-Suckoo.

She said now was not the time to ascribe blame as to who was responsible for low productivity here, but said it was everyone’s responsibility to improve the situation.

“As we go forward in Barbados I am tasking every single worker with the responsibility of doing that which is set before you to do . . . .That is where we are at in the discussion on productivity,” she added.

“We know that everybody and all the parties have their own roles to play. The Government has a role to play in terms of facilitating through the micro economic policies as well as social policies. . . . The role of the private sector is investment, job and wealth creation, then there is the role of the workers to actually execute the task that is set before us . . . so everybody has a role to play,” she said.

The Government minister also stated that she wanted to know what sectors were considered to be least productive and why.

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