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22 Mar
Press Release Caribbean Employers’ Confederation 56th Annual General Meeting

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Photo credit:  Gabrielle Johnson/CEC

Photo caption (L to R):  CEC Board Members Ruben McSween  (Trinidad), Ferdinand Welzijn (Suriname) and CEC Member Paul Torilal (Suriname) at the  Caribbean Employers’ Confederation 56th Annual General Meeting on 17 March 2016.

Press Release

Caribbean Employers’ Confederation 56th Annual General Meeting

17 March 2016

The Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) held its 56th Annual General Meeting on Thursday 17th March 2016, at the office of the International Labour Organisation in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The meeting was preceded by a Strategic Planning Workshop for the executive members and staff of the CEC.

The President, Mr. Wayne Chen gave an overview of the work of the Organisation during the period June 2015 – March 2016.

Mr. Chen highlighted the strides made by the Organisation in its quest of being recognized as the regional voice of Employers; the official recognition by CARICOM, CARIFORUM and their member states and the EU- funded Project as activities which has allowed the Confederation to gain momentum and realize its greatest increase in membership in decades.

Welcome was extended to the following: ·

  • The Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry Limited (CAGI)·
  • Aruba Trade and Industry Association (ATIA)·
  • Haiti Association of Industries (ADIH)·
  • Movement des Enterprises de France (MEDEF Martinique)

 

The President further recognized the contribution made by the ILO, through its retiring officer Ms. Anne Knowles and Dr. Giovanni Di Cola who has taken on higher offices within the ILO.

Welcome was also extended to Ms. Vanessa Phala, the incoming Employers’ Specialist replacing Ms. Knowles.

The meeting also addressed and completed a review of its constitution by creating new Vision and Mission statements and adopted several resolutions to include one new Director, Mr. Michel Henriquez from Aruba.

Member countries highlighted continued struggles within their respective countries in dealing with Social Dialogue and the review of Labour Legislations which are not given priority by Governments in the region.

The President encouraged members to support in the completion of the Skills Gap Survey and delivering of the findings along with the considering of new projects to be undertaken, to increase the capacity of the organisation.

21 Mar
CEC supports ECA and NATUC signing of MOU to formalize bipartite discussions in light of growing unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC)

 

Press Release

CEC supports ECA and NATUC signing of MOU to formalize bipartite discussions in light of growing unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago

 

According to Professor Karl Theodore, member of the Economic Development Board Trinidad and Tobago and Director of the Health Economic Unit at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago should prepare for a 15% unemployment rate.  Speaking at the first Meeting of the Trinidad and Tobago Bipartite Forum on 16 February 2016 entitled, ‘Assessing the state of the economy in Trinidad and Tobago’, Professor Theodore stated that he expects to see a growth in the unemployment rate by 2021.  Employment in the country has been historically and structurally dependent on the inflow of foreign exchange from the energy sector.  With oil prices down to under US$30 a barrel and the current recognized state of recession, Professor Theodore posed three questions:

  1. What do we need to do, that we are not doing now?
  2. What do we need to do differently, from what we are doing now?
  3. What do we need to cease doing that we are doing now?

 

With these questions a number of considerations were put forward as impetus to begin the brainstorming process by the employers’ and workers’ representatives to develop robust economic proposals for wider discussion at tripartite forums.

Contributing to the depth of the discussion at the meeting, was Mr Jose Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Director of the ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mr Salazar-Xirinanchs presented on the labour and employment challenges faced throughout the region following economic strife and encouraged the bipartite participants to look to the ILO’s Global Jobs Pact for recommendations and policies to aid in formulating a plan for recovery.

The meeting was organized by the Employers’ Consultative Association of Trinidad and Tobago (ECATT) and the National Trade Union Centre of Trinidad and Tobago (NATUC), and supported by the International Labour Organization under a European Union-funded project*. The Forum is in keeping with the commitments made by national employers’ organizations and trade unions throughout the region at the November 2015 Regional Bipartite Meeting held in Grenada, to establish bipartite forums to discuss matters of national importance to both employers and workers.

This EU-funded project provides support to the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and its national Employers’ Organisation members (such as ECATT) to actively take steps to establish meaningful bipartite relationships with their national Trade Union counterparts to enable the organizations to build solidarity and make strong contributions at national consultations and tripartite discussions.

CEC’s President Mr Wayne Chen commented, “The CEC is committed to promoting social dialogue in the Caribbean and enhancing the employers’ organisations’ capacity to make a meaningful contribution. We therefore see this as a historic development that should lessen the current recession’s impact on workers and business and hasten Trinidad and Tobago’s economic recovery.”

The CEC supports the formalization of the bipartite relationship between ECATT and NATUC through the development and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The CEC looks forward to similar bipartite engagements in other CARIFORUM countries.

 

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* EU-funded project entitled “Challenges to CARIFORUM Labour, Private Sector and Employers to fulfil their EPA Obligations: Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) Component of the Support to Facilitate Participation of CARIFORUM Civil Society in Regional Development and Integration Process.

 

 

19 Nov
Survey of Issues……Results

Survey of Issues FB

 

Back in May, the CEC polled its members on areas of concern and interest to them in order to prioritise key issues of importance to Employers’ Organisations nationally so that positions can be developed and advocated regionally. These are the results!!

06 Nov
Francis Emanuel presented with Meritorious Service Award

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Congratulations to Director, Francis Emanuel as he was presented with the Meritorious Service Award within the Private Sector Development by his Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin, President of The Commonwealth of Dominica during the celebration of Dominica’s 37th Year of Independence on November 3rd, 2015.

06 Nov
Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) agree to establish formal national bipartite forums

PRESS RELEASE

Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) agree to establish formal national bipartite forums

In a joint statement following the Regional Bipartite Meeting under their EU-funded project, involving senior trade union and employer organizations representatives from fifteen Caribbean countries held 3-5 November 2015 in Grenada, CCL president David Massiah, and CEC president Wayne Chen, announced the agreement to establish formal bipartite forums in each of their countries to deepen cooperation between trade unions and employers’ organizations to better coordinate research and advocacy on matters of mutual importance.

Coming out of the Grenada meeting was a recognition of the need for both employer and worker representatives to be more closely involved in the curriculum and strategy development of national technical vocational training institutions. Youth unemployment is the single most pressing issue to be addressed in the region and ensuring that coherence exists between job market requirements and the skills of job seekers is a top priority.

The participants determined from a practical perspective whether the fundamental labour principles prohibiting child labour, forced labour and discrimination along with the right to freedom of association and to bargain collectively were in place in each country. These four areas form the platform for the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda of the International Labour Organization.

Employer and worker representatives also assessed the national monitoring mechanisms for the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and CARIFORUM countries. It was agreed that a more consolidated focus was needed in each of the countries to ensure that appropriate measures be put in place to enhance the benefits to be derived from the EPA.

CCL President, David Massiah, said “Both labour and employers demonstrated commitment and support of the work done over the three days. This augurs well for the future success of the programme which will send positive messages to our Governments.”

Welcoming the initiative, CEC president, Wayne Chen, opined that “these bipartite forums will mark a new era in the cooperation between workers’ and employers’ organizations that will no doubt improve the region’s business climate.”

*EU-funded project entitled Challenges to CARIFORUM Labour Private Sector and Employers to fulfill their EPA Obligations: Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labor (CCL) Component of the Support to Facilitate Participation of CARIFORUM Civil Society in Regional Development and Integration Process