UWI labour forum to discuss role of IDT today

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THE Industrial Relations Tribunal’s (IDT) role in the local industrial relations environment has been under scrutiny in recent months, and the Hugh Shearer Labour Studies Institute (HSLSI), UWI Open Campus at Mona wants it to be a part of this week’s Worker’s Week agenda.

The institute has scheduled a public debate to discuss the issues, including questions relating to its rulings, as well as a call for the revision of the Labour Relations Code to provide more effective guidelines for good industrial relations practices.

According to the head of the institute, Danny Roberts, the open debate will form part of the Workers’ Week activities of the institute, and will be held today in the institute’s lecture room at the Mona campus, starting at 1:00 p.=m.

He said that the forum will examine whether the Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act (LRIDA), and the Labour Relations Code, in their present forms, are either overly protective of Jamaican workers or were designed to simply punish employers.

Speakers will include attorney-at-law Emile Leiba; president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions Helen Davis-Whyte; senior lecturer and head of behavioural sciences and general management at the Mona School of Business and Management, UWI, Dr Noel Cowell; and president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association O’Neil Grant.

Roberts said that the significance of the forum is to move the controversy to a higher level of consensus building, through dialogue and consultation involving the various social partners and other interested stakeholders.

“Both the LRIDA and the Labour Relations Code have been around for more than 40 years, and must be brought up to speed to meet the constantly evolving employment and labour relations practices,” he suggested.

He also noted that the revision of labour laws and regulations is key to ensuring that Jamaica continue to work towards implementing international labour standards, guaranteeing decent work and promoting the rule of law.

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