King speaks out against poor working conditions

King speaks out against poor working conditions

Labour Minister Stephenson King has asserted that Saint Lucia cannot afford to remain oblivious of the history of its workers, otherwise the country may be doomed to repeat the failures that it once experienced.

King said that as a modern technologically advanced society, Saint Lucia must not relive the sad tales of workers toiling during 12 hour work days and even 7 day weeks to earn a basic living.

“The often extremely unsafe working conditions with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks must never be experienced in this modern time, while child labour, exploitation and slavery through strenuous and labourious work must be eliminated in all its forms in our society,” the minister declared in a message to mark Labour Day today.

He noted that Saint Lucia was fortunate as a small independent nation to have enacted the labour act.

King outlined a number of issues that the act addresses.

They include work permits, fundamental principles of employment, terms and conditions of continued employment, occupational safety and health,  equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and recruitment for overseas employment.

He said the act, which is perhaps one of the most referenced pieces of legislation in Saint Lucia today, establishes the industrial relations framework for social partnership among workers, employers and workers representatives.

King said the provisions of the act prevail over any other enactments where there may be conflict.

“It serves as the most important legislative framework that is designed to preserve the rights of  workers and address the modern day issues of employer-employee relations, employment and decent work for all,” the minister explained.

He observed that in keeping with the intent of the act and in response to today’s challenges, he made a commitment at the National Workers Union (NWU) Congress in June last year to pursue a number of initiatives to ensure that gains won by workers through the trade union movement are safeguarded.

King recalled that among the initiatives mentioned was ensuring that the legal framework providing transparency and fairness to workers and employers is sound, through a review of the labour code.

He also spoke of  the establishment a tripartite arrangement to ensure that the gains won by workers through the trade union movement are safeguarded and increase  the level of communication  among all three parties for the establishment of a stable, conducive industrial relations climate.

In addition, he mentioned undertaking an assessment of the labour department and  developing a strategic plan for it with an appropriate structure to execute the plan, as well as developing a labour market information system to facilitate the role of the department of labour as a provider of information on the labour market.

“I am pleased to indicate today that all of those initiatives have been initiated and it is my hope that by the end of this calendar year – with the support of all stakeholders, including the International Labour Organisation, we will have achieved the agenda previously established,” King said.

The minister observed that of symbolic significance to the observance of labour day was the launch of the the National Occupational Safety and Health Policy for Saint Lucia last Friday.

“This means that the government, employers and workers of Saint Lucia are guided by the ILO standards on occupational safety and health that provide essential tools and guidance to establish sound prevention, reporting and inspection practices to provide for maximum safety in the work place,” King stated.

 

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25 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 8:09 am Reply

    So when will Sandals’ workers become unionized?

  2. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 8:12 am Reply

    Does the Labour Code address issues related to split shifts?

  3. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 8:37 am Reply

    They will not be Unionized because they are SUCKERS.

    1. Anonymous
      May 1, 2017 at 11:21 am Reply

      Mr. King as must as i applaud u for being vocal lately as it relates to employment in St lucia. There are still security companies that have the guards working for 6;50 cents or less, and working 12 hour shift. That has to stop as security guards should be payed 15 dollars an hour. The Labour Code should be revisited to accommodate the hotel and security guards in St Lucia as there is so much expliotation going on some of the workers are so blind that the companies take them for a ride for less than 700 dollars a fortnight whiles the capitalist secret society lodge men pocket all the money to live their lavish lifestyles slavery has to stop Mr King

  4. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 8:38 am Reply

    The issue raised by the Minister is just a first step in recognition of what the problem is or could take place. It is the responsibilty of the media to educate the public on these issues. When I critized the media for lack of focus…and their reporting nothing more tabloid news, almost on a daily basis, what I was getting at was tabloid news is nothing more that a distraction from the real issues. The media should take more lead in discussing the issues that affect St. Lucian.

  5. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 8:40 am Reply

    Talk, talk no action.

    1. Anonymous
      May 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm Reply

      Well i am hoping that Mr. King look into thoes big security companies as no security guards should work for less than 900 dollars a fortnight

  6. Society
    May 1, 2017 at 9:01 am Reply

    So when will Coco palm..workers be unionized..bay gardens..Sandals and all the other hotels..but then again..talk talk talk

  7. Concerned person
    May 1, 2017 at 9:06 am Reply

    KENNY KENNY KENNY NOW YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY DO IT MAKE IT WORK…..YOU ALL LIKE TRUMP NEVER THOUGH THAT GOVERNMENT HAD SONMUCH WIRK EHGOVERNMENT HAD

  8. why fit in when you are born to standout
    May 1, 2017 at 9:07 am Reply

    Its about time Someone in government notice that our labor laws need to be regulated and enforced because we have the foreign employers like call centers and security companies that come out here and slave they workers and nobody says anything about it.because they dont have a voice.

  9. Pastor Aristide
    May 1, 2017 at 9:08 am Reply

    Amen.

  10. Martin Rosemond
    May 1, 2017 at 9:14 am Reply

    Well done it’s about time

  11. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 9:46 am Reply

    The Labour code on line,just goggle it for more information.

  12. Talk city
    May 1, 2017 at 9:51 am Reply

    Security is one of the main companies out there that need to be checked!!!!!

  13. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 10:55 am Reply

    Amen am loving it , chick it out king,better late than never.

  14. [email protected]
    May 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply

    St.lucia has no minimum wage people get paid whatever a company feel like paying.plus work in st.lucia is slavery no institutions in place to check on workers.so people do get abused by work down there

  15. King speaks out against poor working conditions - Top
    May 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm Reply

    […] Source […]

  16. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 3:38 pm Reply

    $15 an hour is equivalent to £5. Now this is day light robery.
    St. lucians don’t work for PEANUTS.
    Come on Mr King do something.

  17. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 7:54 pm Reply

    I like the fact that he is trying to make things better in the work force,optimistically. I am a security guard and we have to literally work like slavery,and work our balls off to earn a decent salary to pay bills and take care of ourselves,but after that no money left. It is so bad that to help ourselves, we seek help from the nwo,and we were prosecuted for that…the manager we so infuriated that he implemented a very rigorous legislative from the labor code,in which that when a guard goes out for lunch,the hour is deducted… Meaning that if a man work for eight hours, he is payed seven hours at 4 dollars and cents…

    1. Maxwell
      May 2, 2017 at 7:23 am Reply

      a a, so you expect to be paid for a lunch hour? Since when is that regular practice? When people get paid, they get compensated for work done, you don’t get paid to put food in your face. I work 18 hours a day on 2 different jobs and neither of them pay me for any lunch hour or break I take.

      1. Anonymous
        May 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm Reply

        Maxwell u are a fool the securty guard has to speak out against exploitation

        1. Maxwell
          May 5, 2017 at 8:20 am Reply

          Not getting paid for a lunch hour is exploitation? LOL, that’s just ridiculous, if he was getting paid for that before, how was he being exploited? If you think that’s exploitation, you don’t know what exploitation really is.
          Look up labor laws, nobody is entitled to being paid for a lunch hour, I have never been paid for one, all these comments from people who don’t know what real hard work is.

  18. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 7:57 pm Reply

    I like the fact that he is trying to make things better in the work force,optimistically. I am a security guard and we have to literally work like slaves,and work our balls off to earn a decent salary to pay bills and take care of ourselves,but after that no money left. It is so bad that to help ourselves, we seek help from the nwo,and we were prosecuted for that…the manager was so infuriated that he implemented a very rigorous legislative from the labor code,in which that when a guard goes out for lunch,the hour is deducted… Meaning that if a man works for eight hours, he is payed seven hours at 4 dollars and cents…

  19. Anonymous
    May 1, 2017 at 10:34 pm Reply

    The security companies make the guards. Work 12 hour shift. At. 4;25 cents at. The. New hospital and. The. Rodney bay marina. Do. Something about that

  20. Anonymous
    May 2, 2017 at 9:47 am Reply

    The issue of sexual harassment against female employees in the workplace is also an issue that the Labour Minister must also address. In this day and age young women should not have to sleep with their employer, manager supervisor or hiring authority to gain employment or to be able to stay in the workplace. Sexual harassment is common in both the public and private sectors. this has to be addressed.

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