Friday 17 November, 2017

Carmona: Improved labour relations needed in and out of workplace

President Anthony Carmona has stressed the need for improvement in the standards of employment and labour relations, both from the perspective of the employer and the worker.

In his Labour Day message, Carmona called for reflection by all to evaluate how these can be achieved.

Remembering the sacrifices and struggles of oilfield workers, the benefits of which modern day Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed, Carmona said the greatest homage citizens can pay to those workers, their labour leaders and our fore-parents, is to ‘improve upon their legacy of a work ethic that does not fall short; a genuine work ethic that translates an honest day’s work into an honest day’s pay”.

Noting that great strides have been made in the recognition of the importance of equal pay and collective bargaining, he said much more is required to ensure improved labour and industrial practices, in an effort to attain international benchmark standards required of the employer-employee relationship.

Carmona also stressed the importance of increasing workplace productivity as he said it directly affects our ability to achieve developed nation status.

“Our nation requires, now more than ever, a workforce comprising principled, ethical, dedicated and innovative men and women, who can contribute to raising our productivity levels and national income. Apart from that, a progressive workforce is necessary if we are to achieve, in a desirable time period, developed nation status.

To achieve the type of socioeconomic standard of living that is concomitant with our comfort, wealth and access to material goods and necessities, which as Trinbagonians we deserve, we must equally be ready, able and willing to meet international benchmark standards of productivity.”

The President said productivity can only be achieved through genuine collaboration between the workforce and the employer.

He said while trade unions have a mandate to safeguard workers’ rights and working conditions, workers themselves owe a duty of diligence to their employers in getting the job done efficiently, effectively and proactively.

“The holistic relationship between employer and employee must recognise the interdependence of one with the other; a symbiosis that guards against indispensability and tyranny and rather, promotes respect for authority, leadership and the fostering of good relations in the workplace.”

Carmona wished citizens a happy and reflective Labour Day, and urged wisdom in improving labour and industrial practices.

“The true strength of this Republic will always be its human resource. As such, as we exercise Discipline, Tolerance and Production in creating a proper, solid work environment, so too must we recognise the value of balancing work with family time to foster happy, productive employees and employers,” he said.

The President also wished God’s blessings on the labour movement in progressing toward improved relationships among citizens, in and out of the workplace.