Respect due

UWI principal calls for civility among social partners

Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus Professor Eudine Barriteau has complained of an absence of respect among those involved in industrial relations here.

Describing the current climate as tense and filled with charges and countercharges, she told the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) 76th annual delegates conference that she had no interest in attributing blame, motive or praise.

Instead, she said she was disturbed by the absence of respect for individuals, institutions and processes in these industrial relations encounters.

“Mutual respect is sorely missing from the public discourse on determining the right course of action for the country. Respect is required now and in the future for the successful growth and operations of the Barbados Workers’ Union. There has to be broad-based societal respect for the union’s right to commence and conduct legitimate actions on behalf of its membership,” Barriteau said in her feature address.

“If the Barbados Workers’ Union decides it needs to stage a march to gain the attention of Government, all sectors of the society can discuss to their heart’s content whether that action is warranted, or whether, in its opinion, it signals the best tactical or weakest strategic action in light of previous actions and anticipated outcomes,” Barriteau continued, while adding there must never be public disparaging and disrespectful dismissal of the hard-won right of the union to initiate action on behalf of its members.

Speaking on the theme, The Future We Want: The Future You Deserve, Barriteau advised the union that rather than seeing Government as an enemy of workers, it should see the “lack of economic and social progress” as the primary enemy.

“I want to remind the unions, Government, civil society and all employers that the real enemy we face in the country today is lack of economic and social progress. This is also accompanied by unacceptable levels of inefficiency that occur in every sector of society, including the University of the West Indies.

“We all have to accept as our responsibility, eliminating these inefficiencies. I reject the idea that workers alone are responsible for inefficiencies in our economic and social sectors, but it is a popular and persuasive myth. Similarly, we do know many sectors of the society, including the private and governmental sectors, contribute their share of inefficiency to the burdening of social and economic progress. Whatever blocks economic and social progress constitutes a drag on national development. These unacceptable conditions are the real obstacle to our economic and social prosperity,” she added.

On the issue of the Social Partnership, the UWI principal advised the leadership of the BWU and other unions present that the future had to be supported by a greater degree of accountability, with each member of the Social Partnership having a responsibility to honour procedures and rules of engagement.

She called on each member to examine and address the challenges that exist, bring proposals to the table and avoid highlighting the weaknesses of other partners.

“We have to summon the moral authority to do what is right and what is socially just and that moral authority that informs our actions is preceded by the mutuality of respect and the reciprocity of accountability,” Barriteau told the packed Hugh Springer Auditorium, which included Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy, Government Senator Patrick Todd, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and other Barbados Labour Party Members of Parliaments and candidates.

She called on the various interest groups to uphold “the moral imperative of social justice”, by doing what is just, equitable, and fair to protect the economic, political and social interests of all citizens, especially the economically and politically vulnerable.

“I am speaking about the ones who in their daily contributions build and sustain Barbados, but who often are the very ones who do not have easy or automatic access to the corridors of economic or political power. The country cannot assume that what we have practised for over 70 years in creating a space at the table for trade unions to contribute to national conversations, will happen automatically if we did not have trade union leaders who insisted on their inclusion, and political leaders who respected and valued their input,” she argued.

One Response to Respect due

  1. milli watt August 29, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Trotman get vex a year he was left out a trip to Geneva because of a back raise orchestrated by CTUSAB who were living rent free at harmony. well that did not last long after that and we off to the races now with this CLUNT (FEMALE CLOWN) BULLYING HER WAY TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS AND is the defacto leader of CTUSAB.

    Reply

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