The American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T), The Energy Chamber, and Trinidad & Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) wish to reject in the strongest possible fashion any suggestion that our concerns about the operations of the Industrial Court is either an attack on the institution or an attempt to return the country to colonial days as has been suggested by the Joint Trade Union Movement.
The business associations have for some time had concerns about the Industrial Relations Framework in Trinidad and Tobago and the operations of several institutions, including the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago.
We are confident the expression of these concerns falls within any reasonable definition of fair comment.
We are of the view that there is a need for greater clarity on how and why the Court arrives at its judgments, and the awards made by the court. The members of these associations see this as crucial in building trust in our institutions and in ensuring that all parties feel that they are being treated equitably.
At the heart of our concern is our vision for an IR Framework that is modern and reflective of today’s reality. Why for example is Trinidad and Tobago the only country in the Caribbean where it is necessary for an individual to join a trade union in order to bring an action before the industrial court against an employer? Why must a worker have to pay dues to a union and, should they be successful, share their earnings with the Trade Union simply because they do not have access to the court on their own? We feel this needs to change and the IR framework modernized.
The business associations are also concerned that in this time of economic challenge and when several surveys have shown the urgent need for increased productivity, the IR Framework and the operations of institutions limit the country’s ability to improve productivity levels and give us a better chance of weathering the economic downturn and protecting the jobs of workers and revenue to the state.
We have proposed legislative changes which are all in keeping with conventions of the International Labour Organisation. We feel the time has come for a frank discussion, by all parties, on the need for legislative and operational changes and the way forward as we try to update and reform the IR framework in Trinidad and Tobago.
A reformed, modern and progressive IR framework, underpinned by sound laws will benefit individuals, businesses, the labour movement and the country.
62 Maraval Road,
Newtown, Port of Spain
T: (868) 622-0340, 622-4466,
F: (868) 628-9428
Email AMCHAM T&T
P.O. Bag 150, Newtown,
Port of Spain
Trinidad and Tobago.
HSE Excellence Awards
National Youth Productivity Forum
Copyright © AMCHAM T&T