Thursday, September 29, 2022

“The Labour Department Needs A Shake-Up!”

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“The Labour Department needs a shake-up and you have to help us to shake that department,” Labour Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte disclosed at a May Day rally organised by the St. Lucia Trade Union Federation (TUF).

She told the gathering that the Labour Department is the agency that has to give the unions support in representing the interests of this country’s workers.

Regarding the Employment Unit in the Labour Department, Albert-Pototte observed that it was not enough for it to deal with Canadian farmworkers.

“We need a data base. We need to see the situation of the workers in this country. We need information on persons who are seeking employment, what skills they have, what areas we need to train them,” she explained.

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According to the Minister, individuals seeking employment  should be able visit the Labour Department for assistance in preparing themselves for the world of work.

She also noted that the Work Permit Unit allows non-nationals to work in Saint Lucia.

But Albert-Poyotte asserted that as Minister, she has to give the okay.

Nevertheless, she said she had seen several areas that raised red flags.

“There are some types of jobs that people ask for work permits, and I say, ‘Don’t we have people in Saint Lucia who can do that?’ How do we know? Because the employer is supposed to advertise the position, interview and select the best person for the job,” the Labour Minister stated.

While admitting that there may not be local expertise available for some technical jobs, Albert-Poyotte declared that there are some basic jobs that Saint Lucians can do.

“But the Labour Department has to help us screen and keep the employers on their toes, so that do not bring persons to work in Saint Lucia to do work that Saint Lucians are qualified and competent and capable of doing,” the Babonneau MP stated to applause from the audience.

She also called attention to occupational health and safety, observing that several workplaces have mold, air quality, and poor sanitation issues.

“We have to be on the ground to ensure that our workers are working in environments that are safe, that are conducive for them to produce,” the former SLTU President noted.

Headline photo: Department of Labour stock image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. I fine that the labour department dose not work in the favor of workers or the county its like they don’t exist. For me the doors can close unless salaries are being paid to them .

  2. I do agree with some of what this minister expressed. Let’s put some action in place, and not just lament on the Red Flags you have noticed. Employers should be given a required number of local citizens hired, depending on the size of their business or business, and this should be recorded in a database that can be tracked by the Labor Department. Citizens who may not have the desired skills for certain jobs, can be given on the job training thus allowing them the opportunity to participate in the work force. There are a lot of individuals who may not have the academic {on paper certificate} but are quite capable of doing the physical and mental work. Just give them a chance and let’s move this country and its citizens in a progressive direction. There is value in all work. Oh, and please allow the pay standards to be good cost of living wages that can sustain raising a family and preventing people from having food insecurities.

  3. I wish the minister would remind her colleagues that they too, are supposed to advertise the jobs, interview and select the best persons for the jobs and not give jobs to unqualified friends and hacks. If she addresses half the issues she identified here, that would be tremendous progress.

  4. This Labour Deoartment in St Lucia is Notorious for this .When Workers Report Employers they calls the employer and Inform them that Personz came to report them at Labour Ddpartment office

  5. Well well very interesting reading that the minister responsible for the department identifies what needs to be done so that department can effectively serve the country. I look forward to seeing she the minister implement these changes asap so all of us can be confident the department is fulfilling its role for all citizens.
    I must applaud her for going public on labour day but pray she does not disappoint. I await her labour day speech year on her progress.

  6. yup i fine they are a bit lazy and quiet when it comes to these issues experienced in little organizations when employers dont pay you what they owe you, nothing happpens and most times they are the friends of the employers

  7. an employee should be able to go in for any unfair treatment and get good feed back and not have their report immediately brought back to their employee without their consent .

    We can do so much better the labor code it self should be available online up to date that is so persons have ease of access .

    The labour code needs to be for the work force not employer

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