Negocios

New York Times | Trade unions maintain position on NTAC

“Be­cause here we are in 2022, still ar­gu­ing at the ta­ble over a two per cent over eight years and now, a four per cent over six years. Are you aware that even the Petrotrin is­sue we at­tempt­ed to raise at NTAC? We were ad­vised by the pow­ers that be that it was not for NTAC.”

He said there was no im­ple­men­ta­tion of poli­cies for is­sues sur­round­ing COVID-19, like pro­tec­tion for vul­ner­a­ble work­ers and spe­cial sick leave for those who fell ill. Some ar­gued that work­ers would abuse the sick leave pro­vi­sion. How­ev­er, An­nisette said they paint­ed work­ers with a broad brush. He re­mind­ed the pub­lic that it was not the first time the trade unions walked away from NTAC.

They did so af­ter the Min­istry of Tourism be­gan re­struc­tur­ing the Tourism De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny with­out di­a­logue

Na­tion­al Trade Union Cen­tre (NATUC) Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary Michael An­nisette says the Gov­ern­ment must agree to ro­tate the chair­man­ship of the Na­tion­al Tri­par­tite Ad­vi­so­ry Com­mit­tee (NTAC) as a con­di­tion for the re­turn of trade unions. Speak­ing with Guardian Me­dia on Tues­day, An­nisette said he was aware of the call by In­dus­tri­al Court pres­i­dent Deb­o­rah Thomas-Fe­lix for trade unions and Gov­ern­ment agen­cies to join in tri­par­titism.

How­ev­er, An­nisette said Thomas-Fe­lix not­ed that there must be gen­uine dis­cus­sions, which he said were ab­sent dur­ing their in­volve­ment in the process.

“We are will­ing to walk back in the morn­ing, pro­vid­ed that an ob­jec­tive cri­te­ria are met,” An­nisette said.

An­nisette said NATUC sub­mit­ted a list of con­di­tions for a re­turn to the NTAC, which in­clud­ed a de­mand for gen­uine dis­cus­sions and a ro­ta­tion of the chair­man­ship.

How­ev­er, there was no re­sponse to a list of con­di­tions that NATUC pub­lished in the news­pa­pers.

“If we are equals, the chair­man­ship can­not and must not be at the be­hest of the Gov­ern­ment on­ly. It demon­strates si­lo think­ing, and it re­al­ly does not speak to the tri­par­titism as equal part­ners.

“If we are equal part­ners, which we have to be, then the ro­ta­tion of the chair­man­ship must be crit­i­cal.”

An­nisette said the trade unions de­cid­ed to leave NTAC be­cause it the ex­pe­ri­ences. He said there was no gen­uine tri­par­titism, which they recog­nise as a pil­lar for so­cial jus­tice.

He said the dis­cus­sion at NTAC did not ad­dress the con­cerns of the trade union move­ment.

While there were dis­cus­sions on is­sues the unions raised, he said there were no sub­stan­tial changes for the pub­lic’s ben­e­fit.

It in­clud­ed wage ne­go­ti­a­tions, and al­though they got sup­port from em­ploy­ers and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives, it did not re­dound to any mean­ing­ful ac­tion.

“Be­cause here we are in 2022, still ar­gu­ing at the ta­ble over a two per cent over eight years and now, a four per cent over six years. Are you aware that even the Petrotrin is­sue we at­tempt­ed to raise at NTAC? We were ad­vised by the pow­ers that be that it was not for NTAC.”

He said there was no im­ple­men­ta­tion of poli­cies for is­sues sur­round­ing COVID-19, like pro­tec­tion for vul­ner­a­ble work­ers and spe­cial sick leave for those who fell ill. Some ar­gued that work­ers would abuse the sick leave pro­vi­sion. How­ev­er, An­nisette said they paint­ed work­ers with a broad brush. He re­mind­ed the pub­lic that it was not the first time the trade unions walked away from NTAC.

They did so af­ter the Min­istry of Tourism be­gan re­struc­tur­ing the Tourism De­vel­op­ment Com­pa­ny with­out di­a­logue.

He added that NATUC wants the Gov­ern­ment to share rel­e­vant da­ta. How­ev­er, some min­is­ters who were part of the coun­cil did not at­tend meet­ings.

Mean­while, the Joint Trade Union Move­ment (JTUM) has not changed its po­si­tion on NTAC. JTUM Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary Ozzi War­wick said it stands by the April 28 me­dia state­ment is­sued by the Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Trade Unions and NGOs (FI­TUN). FI­TUN stat­ed that the NTAC was “dead” and that the Gov­ern­ment sought to use it as an­oth­er body con­trolled by the Cab­i­net. FI­TUN said it was sure that the Gov­ern­ment want­ed to use the NTAC to con­trol the en­tire trade union move­ment while con­tin­u­ing an an­ti-work­er and union-bust­ing agen­da.