Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ILO:::Regional labour and employer groups sign MOU

GENEVA—The Caribbean Employers Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to identify areas where common legislative and regulatory principles having regional application are essential.

The MOU will also allow for the two parties to co-operate on formulating legislation as well as facilitating the establishment and operation of business and the free movement of labour within the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
They also agreed to uphold and advocate for the principles enshrined in International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions addressing the elimination of child labour, forced labour and discrimination; and the right to freedom of association and to bargain collectively.
The Social Chapter of the Economic Partnership Agreement entered into by the European Union (EU) and Caribbean Forum (Cariforum) countries in 2008, refers to the obligations of each member state to implement the rights and principles inherent in the eight Fundamental Conventions of the ILO.
The MOU was signed at the ILO’s Brussels Office, which CEC and CCL officials were visiting as part of a study tour to gain insight into social dialogue mechanisms within the European Union.
“We are delighted to host the signature of such an important MOU. Social partners have a key role to play in strengthening regional integration processes and it is just great to see that in the Caribbean, workers and employers’ organisations are committed to working together on issues of utmost importance for the future of the region,” said Claire Courteille, director, ILO-Brussels Office.
“This could set an example for other parts of the world,” she added.
The study tour forms part of a larger project funded by the European Union, executed by the ILO and implemented by CEC and CCL to build their capacity in order to contribute to the formulation of economic and social policies at a regional level.
CEC and CCL representatives participating in the study tour come from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica and T&T. They are accompanied by Anne Knowles, Senior Specialist, Employers’ Activities and Ms. Paula Robinson, Senior Specialist, Workers’ Activities from the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean.
“The Caribbean Congress of Labour is truly pleased to be a part of this significant study tour. The opportunity to observe and experience the workings of social dialogue in another jurisdiction will surely go a long way in encouraging the Caribbean social partners to support and promote an effective social dialogue system in our region.
“The Caribbean Congress of Labour is very confident that these engagements with the social partner organisations in Brussels will surely help to deepen and strengthen the regional integration movement. Signing this MOU with CEC on the legislative agenda marks an important milestone in our cooperation,” said CCL president David Massiah.
CEC president, Wayne Chen said the Caribbean Employers Confederation (CEC) notes this historic MOU that heralds a new level of co-operation between business and labour in the Caribbean that will enhance business sustainability, investment and job creation.
“We now urge our national governments to move expeditiously to implement the appropriate laws and regulations that will enhance regional integration and business development,” he added. (CMC)

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