New Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) executives met with President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday to discuss the challenges they are facing in reorganising the union body to better respond to unemployment and other issues plaguing CARICOM economies.
CCL General Secretary Chester Humphrey said today’s challenges are high unemployment, little or no growth in regional economies and deteriorating social indices. “All of these things present serious challenges to the labour movement. We need to strengthen our regional profile,” he added, according to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release.
Humphrey and a delegation led by CCL President David Messiah and comprising CCL First Vice-President Ann Marie Burkes and Sir Roy Trotman who is also General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, met with Jagdeo to discuss their ongoing efforts at reorganising the union body to address these matters prevailing in the Region.
GINA said a major part of the CCL’s reorganization is broadening unification and creating a framework that can provide support and narrow differences within the movement. To date, the new executives have visited the governments of The Bahamas, Grenada and Barbados and their visit here stemmed from an invitation Jagdeo had extended to them when he attended the CARICOM Intersessional meeting in Grenada.
The CCL had intervened when the British American and CL Financial insurance companies had faced a major collapse that affected the pension and other assets of several workers.
Humphrey described Thursday’s meeting as a good engagement that ended with a commitment from the president to the local and regional labour movement. “He is an outgoing President but we were able to share a number of ideas and views moving forward,” Humphrey added.