JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CARIBBEAN EMPLOYERS CONFEDERATION AND THE CARIBBEAN CONGRESS OF LABOUR

21 Sep

By: Gabrielle Johnson

CEC News / Newsroom

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CEC AND CCL CONSIDERS CARICOM ONE STEP CLOSER TO REGIONAL SOCIAL DIALOGUE

The Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) are pleased and encouraged by the recommendations on social dialogue within the CARICOM and CSME processes coming out of the consultation convened by the CARICOM Secretariat on 19 September 2016.  This consultation with the representatives of Government, workers’, and employers’ organizations built consensus to successfully produce recommendations on social protection and social dialogue.

Having examined five examples of regional social dialogue arrangements from Europe, Africa and Latin America, CEC and CCL affiliates along with representatives of Government agreed that social dialogue should be integrated into the existing CARICOM structures to allow the CCL and CEC representatives to participate in the ongoing discussions and shaping of policies of the Community and the Single Market Economy to contribute to regional social and economic development. The social partners further recommended that a regional mechanism should be created where national tripartite partners can engage so that national dialogue can filter upwards to the regional level to create substantive synergy on issues discussed to create greater and more meaningful impact.

The social partners also proposed that CEC and CCL representation at the Conference of Heads of Government be reinstated so that their perspectives, concerns and proposals can be presented directly to the Heads. The trade union representatives were particularly emphatic in their argument for this particular point.

Ms Jennifer Isaacs- Dotson, CCL 1st Vice President, concluded: “The trade unions are optimistic that the recognition of the CCL and the CEC will now be established so that they can make substantive contributions at all levels of the Community.”

The tripartite partners also proposed for the consideration of the Ministers of the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) that the Council engage in a general discussion on social protection and that the CARICOM Secretariat partner with the ILO to develop a social Protection Strategy for CARICOM.

The CEC President, Wayne Chen said:

“If these recommendations are implemented then we would have experienced a quantum leap forward in our governance that will make the policymaking process more inclusive, efficient, and focused. The outcome should be an improved environment for investment, enterprise, and the creation of decent and sustainable jobs and economic opportunities.”