PM Drew Congratulates SKNTLU for Fighting for Workers Rights’
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrence Drew has congratulated the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union for championing the cause of workers rights in St. Kitts and Nevis over the years, and most recently, in ensuring that frontline workers were duly compensated for work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a conference held by the SKNTLUon Sunday (October 29th), he gave brief congratulatory remarks.
“We continue to believe and strongly believe that workers’ rights must always be represented. The interests of the workers must always be represented. And that is why I want to thank the Trades and Labor Union for you’ve fought for the rights of our workers to benefit from the honorarium, especially the frontline workers.
“You fought for that. The other thing that you fought for, and this must never be forgotten that you were on the front line for the workers who lost their jobs because at that particular time, they did not that the vaccine was the best option for them. You fought for them. You stood on the front lines for them. And that is why the government again responded to the call of the union and the workers.”
Meanwhile, guest speaker Asokore Beckles, a statistician and Labour advisor among others, spoke of the necessity for upskilling to occur, as digitization is evident.
“Amidst this digital renaissance, challenges emerge. Automating specific tasks raises concerns about job displacement, especially in industries traditionally relying on manual labour. Investing in reskilling and upskilling, programs that are imperative to ensure balanced transition. The rights of workers must be safeguarded in this international arena.
“Ensuring that fair labour practices Equitable wages, safe working conditions must remain a priority. It is incumbent upon all of us, government, trade unions, to collaborate in establishing and enforcing policies that protect workers. While globalization brings opportunities for growth and transformations.
“By investing in education and training, fostering innovation and fortifying labour rights, we can seize potential of these evolving landscapes and secure prosperous future for our workers.”
He also shared the need for workers to be protected.
“The 21st century demands a paradigm shift, a recalibration and understanding for work. It’s place in our lives. It’s rights and dignity due to each and every one of our workers, an unwavering commitment for fair wages, safe working conditions, and an environment that nurtures rather than exploits. Today, gathering, sorry, today’s gathering is not a mere conference, but one of ideas.
“A forge for collaboration, a form for dynamic discourse. Here, we take the first steps towards shaping a future where workers are not just mere cogs in a machine, but value contributors to the progress of this and every country. As we dive into discussions that await us, let us remember that the flame of worker protection is not a torch to be carried by a few, but a beacon to guide us all.”
The conference’s theme was “Protecting the Common Interests of Workers and was held at the Solid Waste Management Corporation’s conference room in Taylor’s Range St. Kitts.