Tuesday, 16th July 2024

'Make sure that you meet the minimum standards for treating workers,' says PM Mottley

Thursday, 15th February 2024

 Minister of Labour Colin Jordan (PC: Youtube)

PM of Barbados Mia Mottley Defends New Labour Bill in House of Assembly, dismissing accusations of conflicting interests.

PM Mottley has been known for her progressive policies and advocacy for better workers rights in Barbados. In the past she’s emphasised the importance of good workers protection policies, fair wages and respectable work conditions.

PM Mottley’s government has been proactive on implementing methods to improve labour standards and promote a more open mind towards building a culture of social justice. On the 14th of February 2024, during a debate in the House of Assembly on the contentious Labour Clauses Bill. The bill suggests that any business that receives a government concession must agree to a government defined minimum standard on how their workers are to be treated. PM Mottley stated to the house “We believe that the time has come to be able to set standards and parameters, and in setting these parameters, all that we are saying is, very simply, if you want a government contract or you benefit from a government concession, in both instances make sure that you meet the minimum standards for treating workers sector by sector.

PM Mottley passionately defended her stance against the subtle accusations of undue labour union influence.

PM Mottley was responding to the pushback received from opposition leader Ralph Thorne in his speech, where his concerns lied with the possibility of ministers gaining unconstitutional power due to the bill.

PM Mottley was backed by the Minister of Labour Colin Jordan, claiming that the bill is an important step for protecting vulnerable workers. He stated that had the government not intervened with the bill it would’ve been “a race to the bottom”.

To lessen Thorne’s concerns, he likened the bill to past legislation while claiming that they need to acknowledge the complaints of the less fortunate workers. It has become evident that the Labour Clauses (Concessions) Bill will have major implications for the future of labour rights in the region, while proponents of the bill have been met with accusations of a conflict of interest, they have been dismissed in totality by PM Mottley.

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