Labour Minister Dr Kedrick Pickering has suggested to the regional community that the BVI is fostering work environments that are productive and that deliver fair income to workers locally.
Productivity and fair wages are just two factors that the International Labour Organization (ILO) use to define a term known as ‘decent work’.
The ILO is pushing their ‘decent work’ agenda in the Caribbean region and, according to the organisation, decent work is achieved when employment opportunities provide other qualities such as “security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives, and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men”.
BVI doing ‘decent work’ since hurricanes
The BVI has shown signs of those characteristics in its labour community, Dr Pickering suggested while speaking in Panama at a high-level meeting about the future of work in the Caribbean.
“Following the disasters, it was quickly realised that all work was decent work, as persons were faced with displacement from their regular jobs due to the destruction of the Tourism industry, namely hotels, yachting and restaurants,” Dr Pickering said at the meeting held on October 1.
Dr Pickering also spoke of recovery efforts that the BVI put into effect to adapt to territory’s labour needs following the 2017 hurricanes —Irma and Maria.
His statements come nearly two months after he prompted for an investigation to be launched in relation to reports that a number of expatriate workers in the BVI are being subjected to modern versions of “enslavement”.
Policies to advance ‘decent work’ agenda
Meanwhile, a media release from government said the aforementioned meeting in Panama also entertained discussions about policies and practices that would ‘advance the decent work agenda in the Caribbean’.
Below are other things that the government said were discussed at the meeting in Panama:
- Policies for sustainable, productive development for sustained and inclusive growth, with more and better decent jobs.
- Policies to promote the transition from the informal to the formal economy and to respond to accelerating technological change and to diverse forms of employment.
- Measures and policies to strengthen and redesign institutions in the world of work, including social security, and to ensure that trade union and labour rights are fully upheld.
- The digital economy and labour skills and competencies.
It is not yet clear how the matters discussed in the meeting will be applied to the BVI.
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