Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Baptiste's Labour Day message pays homage to trade unions

The Political Leader, Executive, National Council, and Members of the Saint Lucia Labour Party express its solidarity with the people of Saint Lucia and workers in particular on the occasion of this 2018 Labour Day celebrations.  

We celebrate, this year, in an environment that is very challenging for the trade unions and workers of Saint Lucia; effective responses to which will require careful thought, analysis and consultation by all Saint Lucians.

In this regard, as the SLP renews its commitment to improving the lot of the sons and daughters of Saint Lucia, it will continue to pursue a reasonably objective analysis of the issues confronting our trade unions and workers, with the central purposes of strengthening domestic legislation as well as fashioning more effective policies for protecting the rights and interests of our workers.

In consonance with this approach, the recently concluded 2018 George F L Charles Memorial Lecture was conducted under the theme: The Role and Relevance of Trade Unions in the age of Technology.  This lecture was delivered by Mr. David Abdulah, former Secretary General of the All Field Workers Trade Union of Trinidad of Tobago.

On this day, the Party proudly remembers that its founding father, Sir George FL Charles, who was largely foremost in fostering the birth and initial dynamics of the trade union movement in Saint Lucia and that the Saint Lucia Labour Party was conceived and born in trade unionism.  It was no surprise that Sir George Charles’ first resolution as an elected member was for legal recognition of the right to paid leave.

Because of this history we have a strong trade union tradition, which is closely aligned to Statehood in Saint Lucia. Hence, today, as we celebrate Labour Day, let us pay homage to all those who have played, and is playing, a pivotal role in keeping the trade movement in Saint Lucia alive.

I close with a quote from William Green: “No substitute can hope to replace the union for it has an intrinsic right to existence, which comes from service rendered to fit changing stages of development.”

Happy Labour Day to all Saint Lucians both at home and abroad.

Hon. Alva R. Baptiste

1st Deputy Political Leader

Saint Lucia Labour Party

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