President of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados, Cedric Murrell, thinks the industrial relations climate in Barbados when compared with our neighbours and worldwide is particularly calm.
Murrell expressed this view earlier today during a press briefing at the offices of CTUSAB at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St Michael.
He said: “We speak of a wildcat strike, but my understanding is that it lasted no more than a few hours because the union involved did speak very clearly to what is required in labour management relationships in Barbados. We want to create a climate in Barbados in which dialogue and understanding are paramount. If that fails then clearly one would have to resort to the measures the particular union would wish. But certainly from the Congress it is important for this country that the social partnership and the dialogue is enjoined at all areas and at all times. To do otherwise is to be courting a sense of chaos and that is not certainly what CTUSAB is about.”
Commenting further on the lack of agitation on the part of Barbadian workers, the president said Barbadian workers were very well educated and very sensible and understanding.
“Let me say that we as leaders have pushed the question of dialogue and consultation since the 1991/1992 period. Workers, yes are under stress, workers yes, are hurting, but I think that workers do recognise and understand that they have unions and staff associations who are capable and competent to represent their interests. The Barbadian spirit and mentality of being able to see what the problem is and to find a solution, that age old wisdom continues today.
“Therefore, the same approach that evolved in 1991/1992 with the issues in the economy at that time, are the same approaches that last up until today. And so despite the stress and strain, the workers understand and believe the tripartite relationship is working. They recognise that there will be stresses at time within, but we seek to work around them.”
He acknowledged that unlike other places, the importance being placed on education in “Barbados is bearing fruit today, where people are able to reason, understand and seek to chart a path that does not rely on might.”