Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan.

Barbados welcomes the establishment of the Caribbean Community Administrative Tribunal (CCAT) with its independent judges and its capacity to protect workers.

This was the message conveyed to regional delegates by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, as he addressed the launch of the Tribunal, at CXC’s headquarters, Prince Road, Pine, St. Michael.

Minister Jordan said it recognizes that regional workers must be protected and that mechanisms have to be created to facilitate that protection.

“That protection must not just be theoretical; there must be practical outcomes, practical instruments and practical organizations that speak to the protection that we offer to our workers.

“Too often, organizations and those who lead organizations view these constructs either as enemies or as opponents; the Trade Union Movement knows that but that is also a perspective sometimes shared as it relates to tribunals that have been set up to create that atmosphere of justice for workers,” he pointed out.

While noting that workers, as the engine of an organization and its human capital, must be spoken to as human beings, Minister Jordan added that with unequal power relations in organizations, these workers needed protection.

He urged the region to develop partnerships with CCAT and said: “The tribunal and organizations that speak to bringing justice to workers should be seen as partners. And, I want to encourage CARICOM member organizations to see this tribunal as part of a system designed to partner with your respective organizations that will bring some transparency to that worker-organization relationship.”

Pointing out that along with CCAT there was still recourse to the review panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Labour Minister said: “CARICOM, if it is to mean anything to the ordinary people of the Caribbean must be seen as an organization that exemplifies best practice and I think this tribunal, while created to speak to the regional workers of CARICOM member organizations, must be used as an example to ordinary people that CARICOM represents something that we can all aspire to – that CARICOM can be the exemplar of good practice in a wide variety of areas, including worker-management relations.”

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