The country’s trade union movement is to establish a protocol that will outline the processes to follow whenever there is conflict among the body.
This was one of the decisions reached at a recent strategic consultation for members and other stakeholders of the umbrella trade union organization, the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB).
General Secretary Dennis DePeiza did not reveal details of the proposal to tackle inter union rivalries. However, he suggested it would help soothe the adversarial nature of some of the disagreements among its membership.
DePeiza said the consultation was intended to address substantive issues which form part of the Congress’ agenda for the 2016-2018 biennium as agreed at its recent delegates’ conference.
The CTUSAB head said the main topics of interest discussed at the consultation included the International Labour Organization (ILO) Future of Work Programme, the transition from the informal to formal economy, a review of the industrial relations system in Barbados and the state of employment relations in the country.
In addition to the proposed protocol, members also agreed to establish an institutional framework for collective bargaining in the public service; establish a Public Service Training College and create joint labour management councils in the public service, De Peiza said.
After reviewing the industrial relations system and the state of employment relations, the CTUSAB general secretary said the consultation also agreed to re-examine and develop strategic plans for enhancing unions’ services to members and the wider society.
“[Another decision made was the] introduction of an agency fee in keeping with the notion of fair representation of workers,” DePeiza added.
Under the Future Work Programme, consensus was reached that CTUSAB should further examine and pursue such initiatives as education and sensitization of workers and citizens on the role of the trade union, placing emphasis on relevance and representation.
“Under the Future Work Programme, consensus was [also] reached that CTUSAB should further examine and pursue . . . promoting the organizing of new employment sectors; press demands for mandatory trade union recognition; promote the acceptance and enforcement of labour standards; engaging of all stakeholders and interest groups on emerging issues related to the future of work and the promotion of the introduction of industrial relations and human resources management studies in schools,” he said.
The unions also agreed to place emphasis on research and data collection so as to inform decision-making, and recommended that CTUSAB should embark on a public education campaign to promote its role as Barbados’ national trade union centre.
Missing from the meeting was the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), which withdrew its membership from CTUSAB in 2013 under then General Secretary Sir Roy Trotman.