Trade Unions told to recommit themselves to protecting poor and underprivileged in society

CBC | 18 September 2008

Trade Unions told to recommit themselves to protecting poor and underprivileged in society

Trade unions throughout the region have been urged to recommit themselves to protecting the poor and underprivileged in society.

The advice from President of the National Union of Public Workers, Walter Maloney at a regional transport seminar, held jointly between the NUPW and the International Transport Federation.

Mr. Maloney says the trade union movement missed a golden opportunity to make its views known on the proposed economic partnership agreement between Caricom and the European Union.

He says the trade union movement must never allow it to happen again, because it’s been always an agent of change within the region.

"We had an opportune time to meaningfully participate by doing what we do best in the trade union movement, that is to agitate, to organize and galvanize support for out brothers and sisters in the farming community across the region. Instead we procrastinated, because in some cases we did not represent any of these people, or their fight was not ours. Either way we moved away from the core principle, that identifies what we are and that is to be our brother’s keeper".

Assistant Secretary of the ITF, Eddie Dickson says they are in the vanguard of the fight to improve the lives of transport workers throughout the entire Caribbean.

"The ITF’S role is to try and help strengthen the workers in the transport industries, that is seafarers, civil aviation, the road, the rail, the fisheries, the tourism industry and inland transport. We are here to try and support you, as the leaders of transport industries in this region, to make some progress on behalf of your people".

Mr. Dickson says regional governments have to listen to the people and co-operate with sister governments in this age of globalisation.

He said, "The days when governments were the complete masters of their own decisions are long gone. the requirements of international finance, the requirements of other governments, the requirements of regional governments, all impact on the ability of one government as against another government, to make decisions in the interest of it’s citizens".

source: CBC