Categorized | Business, National News

Caribbean Labour Union Concerned about C&W Outsourcing

A day after one of the major umbrella unions in the country threatened to completely shut the country down if a number of labour issues are not sorted out, Thursday was celebrated around the world as International Workers Day.

In a message to workers in the region sent by the Caribbean Congress of labour, of which The Bahamas’ Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson is first vice president, the CCL’s General Secretary Chester Humphrey said although there’s a lot to celebrate today, workers throughout the Caribbean region are still facing an uphill battle in employment.

Most disturbing for the CCL, according to the press release is the conduct of Cable and Wireless in the region and its massive job cuts throwing hundreds of workers in to “the army of unemployed.”

“This company’s only interest seems to be in the profits that it must return to shareholders notwithstanding many, many years that the Caribbean area swelled its bank accounts,” Mr. Humphrey said. “In this regard the CCL supports the call of trade unions in Trinidad to oppose the transfer of majority share ownership to Cable and Wireless in TSTT.

“Added to the contraction of employment in the financial banking sector is the massive cutting of jobs by Cable and Wireless and the outsourcing of its operations.”

Talks swirled that a number of Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) workers were also on the chopping block as that outsourcing was set to hit The Bahamas as well, but officials here have since denied those claims.

The Caribbean Congress of Labour adds that throughout the region there have been significant job losses in the telecommunications and banking sectors.

As reported locally many banks have announced plans to layoff staff as they too restructure their businesses.

The CCL said these mergers, branch closures and layoffs have also effected workers in Barbados and Jamaica as well as other parts of the Caribbean.

Additional Mr. Humphrey said the slow turning global recession continues to hamper employment rates regionally.

“Throughout the region there have been significant job losses in the banking sector and in the telecommunications sector,” he added.

“In tourism regionally while in some territories there has been limited recovery, that recovery has been weak and according to the Barbados Central Bank the tourism value added for 2013, is estimated to have declined by 2.1 per cent, with long-stay arrivals down 6.2 per cent, partly offset by an approximate increase of two per cent in the average length of stay.
“There were declines in visitor numbers from all major source markets, the UK, the US, Canada and the Caribbean.”

Notwithstanding all of these difficulties, though the CCL secretary general extend fraternal solidarity and best wishes to all Caribbean workers and encouraged all to stick together.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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