Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) president general Michael Annisette, said it was too early to anticipate the precise gains made from the Summit. However, he had high hopes that Government would put into implementation several suggestions made last week by the various international unions at the first ever Workers’ Forum.
“Given the global financial crisis and commitment of all leaders who were present, to change the economic landscape, several proposals were made...all that is left is to translate all that was said at the summit into concrete and tangible realities so that it is the people who see the real gains,” Annisette said.
The independent senator hoped that through the various international networks which were established from the Summit that appropriate decisions would be made which would have positive effects on the region. In order to achieve this, he said unions throughout the hemisphere need to unite and become more focused and vigilant to ensure that the Summit did not suffer from a “deficit of implementation”.
“Without tangible benefits then this Summit would have meant nothing as far as I am concerned.”
National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) president James Lambert, echoed similar sentiments, saying Government should lead by example by protecting its public sector workforce.
Lambert added that he was not impressed with the declaration which was presented at the Summit and was only signed by this country. “The declaration which was presented was done so without most of the unions being privy to its contents. It was signed without us being previously informed, and without any promises of future amendments to be made based on the various outcomes of the discussions which were held over the three days,” Lambert said.
Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) vice president Peter Burke said although he hoped an appropriate consensus was reached to protect the people of this country, he was not expecting much change in policies from Government.
“We have done what we were supposed to and we hope suggestions given will be thought over with the appropriate consideration. But I don’t have many expectations for change in this country,” Burke said.