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Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 14, 2017 (SKNIS): The formal establishment of the Tripartite Committee was praised by labour stakeholders, who were officially presented with their instrument of appointment at a ceremony at Government House on Thursday, September 14.


The committee is comprised of 14 persons, who represent the government, employers and employees. Twelve of the members were installed, while the chairperson and a secretary will serve as ex-officio as mandated by law. The body will review various labour-related developments and will fulfill government’s commitment to engage meaningfully with partners on national development issues to promote consensus building and democratic involvement.


The Executive Director of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SKNCIC), Brenda John, said her organization has a deep belief in “democracy and good governance” which are made even more important given that the global environment is so competitive.


“Cultivating the right atmosphere for growth requires a combined effort, which is what the tripartite mechanism is intended to achieve,” she said, noting that issues to be covered include labour market policies, work related issues, and social protection through the inclusion and protection of persons. “As in all things, a well defined structure is required for the establishment, effectiveness, and sustainability of any organized body. For this reason, the SKNCIC as the leading employer’s organization, through its nominees to this tripartite body, commits its support and full participation.”   


President of the St. Kitts and Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNTLU), Joseph O’Flaherty, said his organization welcomed the opportunity that this newly established committee affords.


“There is an opportunity here to fix what needs to be fixed; to make that paradigm shift; to do things right; to be inclusive, rational and scientific in our approaches; and certainly to pray for the guidance of the Almighty to guide us through the emerging complexities of life,” he stated. “I believe we can; I believe we should, we must.”


Acting Labour Commissioner Shernel James will chair the committee. She indicated that the revision of labour laws will be held shortly and said the formation of a labour code is high on the agenda as efforts continue to keep work standards in line with international practices.


The six installed public sector members are as follows: Deon Webbe – Department of Labour (St. Kitts), Torfrida Rochester – Human Resource Management Department (St. Kitts), Gary Liburd – Department of Labour (Nevis), Ornette Herbert – Department of Human Resources (Nevis), Dale Phipps – Ministry of Education, Rhonda Nisbett-Brown – Department of Legal Affairs. Representing the SKNCIC are Brenda John, Emile Ferdinand and Denise Allyne, while the SKNTLU representatives are Batumba Tak, Joseph O’Flaherty and Sydney Bridgewater.


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