The private sector trade union that advocates on behalf of Barbadian businesses is calling for a new protocol among the Social Partners that will include policy guidelines and commitments on sewage and waste management, as well as water supply and the environment.
The Barbados Employers Confederation suggested that with the Social Partnership’s sixth protocol that went into effect in 2011 having long expired, it was time for a new agreement among the tripartite movement, which was established amidst the economic problems of the early 1990s.
BEC President Marguerite Estwick yesterday told a workshop on social dialogue the country’s strategic importance on the world stage had waned, and political, economic and climatic conditions had all converged, bringing a level of urgency to a new agreement.
“The need for dialogue and for consensus on national goals and the steps needed for sustainability is urgent. The current [tripartite] protocol has expired and progress to signing a new protocol in Barbados has been very slow. While we have a moderate success on the dialogue, there is urgent need for improvement on the policymaking and implementation processes,” Estwick told the event at Courtyard by Marriott in Hastings, Christ Church, organized by the BEC, the Caribbean Employers Confederation, the International Labour Organization and the European Union.
Protocol 6, which was extended past its due expiry date of March 31, 2013, included guidelines on dealing with the current economic crisis, attracting investment by becoming “the number one entrepreneurial hub”, chronic non-communicable diseases and workplace wellness, environmental protection and the green economy, among other areas.
Estwick said over the years the Social Partners had been complaining about a lack of attention to important details and inaction on critical goals.
She said it was important to revitalize the arrangement involving Government, the private sector and the labour movement, to include an evaluation of the current model to determine if it should be altered.
“We must therefore take the necessary steps to revitalize the social partnership, as it provides us with an important opportunity for the consultations and collaborative efforts so necessary to build an environmentally sustainable economy and safe society for everyone,” Estwick said while stressing the need for commitment to a green economy. (EJ)