Categorized | Featured, National News

Thousands March In Labour Day Parade


The country’s workforce marked the Labour Day holiday by recommitting itself to seeking to improve the overall working conditions in the country while ensuring they continue striving to be productive on the job.

Politicians marched along with a cross section of the country’s workforce representing various unions during Friday’s parade.

Labour Minister Shane Gibson, a former trade union leader, said the day marked the start of a new era in the relationship between the labour force and the government.

“I want to encourage the workers of this country to continue what they are doing and producing,” Mr. Gibson said. “Continue to set the standard where employers would want to hire them; where employers would want to ensure that they give a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.”

“To those employers who take advantage of employees we want to let you know that we are going to be very vigilant in making sure that workers are not taken advantage of in the same way we are going to make sure that they give you a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.”

Mr. Gibson said that he has already begun talks with representatives from the various unions and he promised to maintain a consistent line of communication with them.

“We are going to be very proactive,” he said. “The prime minister has given me a mandate to be proactive. He wants me to take the lead in meeting with the unions and not only saying that there is an open-door policy but actually opening the door inviting the unions in and sitting with them and dialoguing with them on a regular basis.”

“I have already committed to both umbrella organisations that will meet with them on a monthly basis and as we begin to get rid of some of these outstanding disputes, if the need arises to meet more often, then we will do so.”

Both National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB) President Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson and Trade Union Congress (TUC) Obie Ferguson expressed optimism that going forward they expect a more amicable and productive relationship between the government and their respective unions.

“I feel very optimistic that the relationship between the government and the NCTUB will improve,” Mrs. Isaacs-Dotson said. “We have a minister of labour who came out of the trade union movement and we are sure that he is committed to social dialogue and working with the unions going forward. We have already met with him and we’re looking forward to great things happening.”

“We are holding the minister to his word,” Mr. Ferguson said. “I feel optimistic that this government is a labour-friendly government and so I see no reason why the labour movement in this country will not grow from strength to strength.”

National Security Minister Bernard Nottage also marched in Friday’s parade and noted that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has shared a longstanding relationship with labour.

Dr. Nottage said now that his party is the new government; it can begin to rewrite some of the wrongs the previous administration made in its handling of workers.

“The PLP was born out of the labour movement, so we are automatically the promoters of the labour,” he said. “We represent working-class people quite predominantly. It’s been our mission in life to move as many as them into the middle-class as we can and we have done so.”

“We understand the issues that are before the country today with respect to the labour movement and we are committed to creating an environment in which workers can prosper, people can get jobs where they can be remunerated properly for their work and there can be harmony in the workplace.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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