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Labour congress opens at Methodist Hall


Close to 100 delegates, trustees and observers from 14 countries and 22 labour organizations converged at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown on Tuesday, for the four-day convention of the 16th triennial congress of the Caribbean Congress of Labour.{{more}}

The convention, held under the theme: “Revisiting our Philosophical Foundation”, took place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the first time in the organization’s history, and featured addresses from the first female president, even though in an acting capacity, as well as Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who delivered the feature address.

CCL acting President Jacqueline Jack, addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony, called for a strengthening of the organizations and labour movements.

She called on trade unions to develop an aggressive programme to organize the unorganized that are present in the work force.

She said the unions must also pay serious attention to the economic, social and economic issues of the day, and work in partnership with governments to improve the lives of workers at national and regional levels.

Jack acknowledged that gender discrimination blatantly exists, and challenged the organizations to ascertain that women, especially, attain equality in the work place.

Jack was expected to be returned as president of the congress when elections were held yesterday at the convention.

Also expected to be tabled during the congress were the report of the General Secretary, Minutes of the 15th Triennial Congress which took place in Suriname in 2004, and the Budget for 2008-2010.

Prior to the convention, the pre-congress activity took place, which saw a number of workshops and discussions being held.

Tuesday’s official opening also heard addresses by acting General Secretary Lincoln Lewis, President of the local Commercial Technical and Allied Workers Union Alice Mandeville and Hassan Yusef of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Awards were also presented to delegates, with the highest award being presented to George DePeana.

Local dance group La Gracia Dancers also entertained the gathering with a cultural performance. (JJ)