INDEPENDENCE DAY MESSAGE 2013 By DENNIS DE PEIZA, General Secretary, CTUSAB
As Barbados celebrates its 47th anniversary as an independent nation, there is every good reason for Barbadians both at home and abroad to be justly proud of its many achievements. Over the years the nation has experienced continued growth and development.
As a small island developing state, the progress made has been phenomenal. As a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Community, Barbados is proudly ranked 38 out of 187 countries in the world in Human Development Index ratings. This is according to the United Nations Development Programme Report for 2013. This is an achievement that can be credited to good governance over the years.
The labour movement is satisfied that it has made and continues to make its contribution to the advancement, growth and development of the nation. It recognizes the value of its contribution in the furtherance of the national agenda, whilst at the same time continuing to pay close attention to its role in promoting and protecting the interest of working class people.
On the 47th Anniversary of the nation, CTUSAB signals that the occasion should also be used to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the existence of the Social Partnership in Barbados. The nation must be proud of the fact that this partnership which was born out of the economic crisis of 1991, has been a feature of national governance ever since. As the nation now faces the most drastic economic recession in its history, the social partners are mindful of the responsibility they have, in working to find a rescue plan for Barbados.
In raising a toast to the nation, let’s also raise a toast to the Social Partnership of Barbados.
It is important for the nation to preserve this model which has worked and served it well. The fact that this model could be promoted to the world at as high a level as the International Labour Organization, Barbados can today be proud that it is not only a developing nation by way of Human Development Index measurements, but by its ability to impact and lead on developments on the world stage in more ways than one.
As Barbados today turns another page in its history, CTUSAB reminds all citizens and residents, to recognize and understand that they have a contribution to play in the nation’s development. It is for them to be conscious of the rights and civil liberties they now enjoy, and should strongly denounce any effort to repress these. It is for the workers of Barbados to impress upon trade union leaders, the need to pursue collective efforts, and to maintain allegiance to those institutions which serve to promote and represent the interest of working class people.
Barbadians must be commended on their continued demonstration of love of country. None more so than the workers of Barbados and in particular those public sector employees, who since 2009 have foregone a wage and salaries increase. This is a sacrifice which was also exercised at the time of the economic recession of 1991. On both occasions this sacrifice made in the best interest of Barbados; as the country worked then and now, to cope with the fallouts of an economic recession.
There can be no doubt that the country owes a debt of gratitude to its Public Officers, and it is important that the sacrifice they made should not go unnoticed.
Today we urge every Barbadian to continue to demonstrate a sense of nationalism, and impress upon our leaders at the national level to recognize that unity of purpose must be observed, in an effort to ensure that continued growth and development of Barbados is assured.
Long Live Barbados, and may God Bless BIM on this its Independence Day.