While in agreement with the prime minister’s recent call for a radical change in the country’s industrial relations, the National Workers Union has said that this transformation should start with the “immediate rescue” of the Labour Department which is “almost on the brink of collapse”.
In a press release, the NWU said that the department “is presently deeply rooted in factions, has no leadership with the capacity to chart the way forward and demonstrate the will to discharge its responsibilities and obligations in keeping with an up-to-date and well operated government labour unit”.
The NWU said that a “strong and purposeful” labour minister, with a full support staff and the best technical and industrial relations talent in the public service, are what should be installed for effective industrial relations in St. Lucia.
“There are scores of industrial issues currently before the Department of Labour without any result in sight. We need to move quickly to save some of the good that is left and rid the Department of Labour of its dead weight,” the NWU said.
“A radical change must be so structured to provide department of labour officials with opportunities for training in negotiations, conciliation, mediation and arbitration processes,” the union said.
Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony made a call for the transformation of the sector while addressing public servants at a conference recently.