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Workers urged to support Workers’ Day

Workers urged to support Workers’ Day


A week of activities leading up to Workers’ Day on May 1st, and designed to bring very important information to the general public on the trade union movement, will be staged here by the National Labour Congress (NLC).{{more}}

During the week of activities, the NLC intends to target students across St.Vincent and the Grenadines to sensitize them about trade union issues so that whenever they join the workforce, they can do so equipped with the necessary important information that would allow them to participate productively.

General Secretary of the NLC Joy Matthews, promoting the programme at a press conference last week Thursday, April 16th, 2009, said: “For too long when we celebrate ‘Workers’ Day’ we just have a handful of workers showing up, but this is a special day for us, especially for workers in St.Vincent we would have triumphed in many many ways through the efforts of the trade unions in the state.”

Matthews expressed that she believes it is quite fitting that the workers come out and show their strength as a means of demonstrating to the nation that the trade union movement is alive and well.

This year’s activities will be held from Sunday, April 26, to Saturday, May 2, 2009, under the theme “Safeguarding Workers Values and Interest”.

The programme will start with a church service at the St. Georges’ Cathedral on Sunday, April 26, and will incorporate other activities throughout the week such as an interactive radio programme on NBC, WE FM, Hitz FM, and Star Radio; radio messages, a public speaking competition among students on the topic: “The relevance of the trade union in today’s society”; a one day workshop; a visit to schools and other workplaces; a rally and evening of entertainment at Heritage Square; and a presentation to the Paediatric Ward at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

Noel Jackson, President of the NLC, said the theme was selected against a backdrop of the current global, social, political and economic order, as well as the difficulties workers are experiencing in terms of unemployment and more seriously the threats to their social security benefits.

“We felt that we ought to select a theme that would mirror the current situation confronting workers globally,” said Jackson.

The veteran trade unionist said there is a never a dull moment in the trade union moment. He disclosed that the NLC has to deal with issues everyday such as grievance handling, collecting bargaining, and planning aimed at protecting the values and the interest of the working people.

“The challenges are increasing because as the global social and political order changes we have got to adapt in order to continue to provide effective representation on behalf of the working people whom we represent,” said Jackson.

Particularly now, Jackson said the NLC has to engage in negotiations employing tactics and strategies that would not only seek to protect the wages of working Vincentians, but to protect their jobs and the interest of their families, which is hinged to their continued employment.(HN)