Discussions are being held between business and union leaders as the government slowly and cautiously rolls back restrictions to get the country back to some levels of normalcy amid the heavy social and economic cost of the Covid 19 pandemic.
The leaders are discussing a framework to guide a safe return to work as T&T moves towards a full reopening of the economy, hoping to arrive at a position that will protect workers’ rights and preserve the rights of all employers.
In a joint release yesterday, the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM), National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGO’s (FITUN) said Tuesday’s meeting was “to commence bi-lateral dialogue on the framework for safe work in a COVID-19 environment across all sectors as the economy reopens, with the aim of mitigating further economic hardship.”
Labour was represented through NATUC and it’s general secretary Michael Annisette and first vice-president James Lambert, along with executive member Judy Charles.
The business leaders included AMCHAM T&T CEO Nirad Tewarie, Energy Chamber president and CEO Dax Driver, T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce president Charles Pashley, CEO Gabriel Faria and COO Michelle Gonsalves-Suite and T&T Manufacturers’ Association president Tricia Coosal and CEO Ramesh Ramdeen and although the Employers Consultative Association (ECA) was not invited to the meeting, its chairman Keston Nancoo sounded a warning , that “Workplace policies are supposed to be driven and informed by labour legislation in the country.”