21 Sep


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.”

21 Jun
ECATT Press Release: Uniting to Rebuild, reshape and reenergise T&T

ECA Logo


June 17, 2016


Uniting to Rebuild, reshape and reenergise T&T

 The Employers’ Consultative Association (ECA) of Trinidad and Tobago wishes to extend warm greetings to all stakeholders in the Labour Movement and by extension, the nation of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of Labour Day. As a premier Employers Organisation, the ECA is heartened to see the strides that we have made as a country, despite numerous hurdles. The fact that we can engage in open celebrations to commemorate the struggles of our forefathers who fought to secure the rights and privileges that many of our workers enjoy today speaks volumes of the progress made thus far. Furthermore, this day allows us to reflect on and recognise the vast potential that this nation can aspire to when we unite as a people.

However, these celebrations are being held at a time in our country where the industrial relations climate can be described as adversarial and volatile, significantly compounded by the weight of continued economic uncertainty and obvious signs of deteriorating trust and mutual respect amongst social partners. This is indeed unfortunate.

Several years ago, the ECA would have articulated its position that extremism, in various forms, continue to stand as an obstacle to partners in the Tripartite Social Dialogue process, a system which the ECA believes can yield meaningful results. However, this requires a paradigm shift by all stakeholders to truly commit to moving beyond adversarial bargaining to a truly participatory and collaborative approach to solving the many problems that exist in this great nation. The time has come for all of us as leaders of institutions, civil society, leaders and citizens of our beloved nation to shift our focus from the short and medium term and look to the long term well-being of our society and nation, lest we risk leaving a system of chaos for our children and grandchildren. Let us rebuild the trust in our institutions, instil the moral and spiritual values that seemed to have evaded us and work together to build a path to long-term growth and sustainability. There is no time to lay blame as our window of opportunity is closing as surely as tomorrow will come.

The ECA believes that the best is yet to come and therefore stands ready to contribute in this regard with a commitment to working with all stakeholders to generate new ideas and fresh approaches rebuild, reshape and reenergise our reality. For according to Peter Drucker, a respected educator, writer and management expert.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence- it is to act with yesterday’s logic”.

06 Jun
Caribbean Employers’ get a voice at CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission


Press Release

Caribbean Employers’ get a voice at CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission

Wayne Chen Appointment to COHSOD

Photo Credits: CEC President Wayne Chen (left) receiving his official letter of appointment to the CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission from Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, CARICOM Secretariat (right).

President of the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) Mr. Wayne Chen, received his official letter of appointment to the CARICOM Human Resource Development Commission on 12 May 2016. This is a major step for the CEC as the regional voice of employers, in ensuring that it is able to contribute to the formation of CARICOM’s social and economic policy development. The appointment of the CEC’s President to this Commission is in keeping with outcome one of the European Union (EU) Funded Project entitled, “Challenges for CARIFORUM Labour, Private Sector and Employers to fulfil their EPA” in which the CEC is currently involving in executing along with the Caribbean Congress of Labour and under the administrative and technical support of the International Labour Organization. Outcome one seeks to position the CEC and the CCL as recognized active social partners in the social and economic policy landscape of the region.

In March 2014, the CARICOM Heads of Government mandated the establishment of this Commission and determined that its purpose should be to shape a ‘Regional Education and Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy’. The Commission met for the first time in February 2015 and has since been working towards the development of a strategic plan to inform the actions of member states and institutions for the creation of a framework for the CARICOM education agenda.

The CEC represents employers’ organizations in 14 CARIFORUM states and 4 non-metropolitan territories in the region. As such, this appointment provides the opportunity for the CEC to ensure that employers’ contributions to policy are adequately represented. The CEC is adequately prepared to contribute to the goals of this Commission by way of having recently completed its own research into the education and skills needs of employers throughout the region. This research will be critical to the development of a framework that is built not only on consultation but a framework that is evidence based.

The CEC and its membership commends CARICOM for its active inclusion of social partners in this Commission and in other consultative processes and fora. We look forward to healthy exchanges and fruitful deliberations within this Commission and other arms of CARICOM.


* 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.

13 May
New President and Vice-President at the helm of the VSB

VSB LogoThe VSB held a special annual general meeting on April 28th in order to elect a new President and Vive-President for the next three years. Mr. Bryan Renten, Director of Fernandes Bottling Company Ltd and Mr. Wilfred Baldew of LeGrand Baldew Transportation Ltd were elected President and Vice-President. In his maiden speech Mr. Bryan Renten thanked the outgoing team of Ferdinand Welzijn and Antoine Issa for their contributions to the Association. The new President recognized the severity of the economic crisis in Suriname and stressed that the VSB will continue to impress on its social partners the need for continued social dialogue and tripartism in order to turn the tide and realize sustainable economic growth in Suriname.

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


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.