New Year’s Day Message: Congress of Trade Unions & Staff Associations of Barbados
Fellow Barbadians, we have much to be thankful for as we ruminate on our past and stand on the threshold of 2015. Over the past four hundred years we have had a relatively peaceful and stable developmental path.
Barbados has from time to time experienced critical moments in its historical development, and it is to the credit of our people that we have masterfully overcome these thus far. These range from the effects of slavery and colonization to gaining independence and now global technological changes and the economic downturns.
As a developing nation whose progress is being impacted by these developments, our government, private sector and trade union leaders, under the umbrella of the Social Partnership, are being called upon to fashion appropriate responses to address these developments.
We in the Congress believe that some of the very principles (conservatism, tolerance and passivity) which have guided our destiny thus far may have sown the seeds of the apparent inertia which is being experienced and which seems now to be stymieing our ability to engage in the deep fundamental changes that we need.
We make bold to state this because in our New Year’s message two years ago, we asserted that our response as a nation to the myriad challenges that we face should be to embrace the concept of “Transformation in our Nation“. Barbados is yet to heed this call.
As the representative of labour, we are conscious of the fact that our society is challenged to remain competitive within the global environment. As the economic pillars of our society wrestle to remain buoyant, it is for all of our leaders to assess this state of affairs and to work to ensure that there are definitive strategies to turn things around in the short and medium term.
Barbados is geographically positioned with the requisite infrastructure, and an educated and trainable workforce which makes it an ideal place for doing business. As we continue to look for solutions to the deep structural challenges facing our economy, CTUSAB advances the position that Barbados is ripe for embracing the concept and philosophy of Public Private Sector Partnerships (PPSP). Government must no longer be expected to carry the burden of economic development; hence, the Private Sector is being challenged to emerge as the sector that drives our economic development for the foreseeable future.
Would it be too ambitious to hope that at this juncture less partisanship would be exhibited in our political culture? Is it also too ambitious to expect that labour and the private sector would join forces in this nation building effort?
CTUSAB believes that together, government, the private sector and labour can re-develop and maintain Barbados’ competitive edge, once employers understand and appreciate the importance of treating to employee engagement and workers commit to an improved work ethic.
Finally, as we look to chart the way forward, CTUSAB takes this opportunity to call for the harmonizing of efforts while embracing the concept of competitiveness in all areas of national endeavors, be the cultural, sporting or economic.
A blessed, healthy and productive New Year to all.