Reform is a 2-way street

THE EDITOR: Labour Minister Stephen Mc Clashie confirms that his ministry is pursuing labour law reform that seeks to ensure workers’ rights and privileges are protected. The laws to be reformed will include the Retrenchment and Severance Benefit Act, the Industrial Relations Act, the Employment Exchange Act, the Labour Contract Act and the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies Act. The minister also said, “We must work together to ensure that rights are protected and dignity is retained in people’s lives.” Now all thoughtful, caring people should be concerned with the need to constantly update laws to protect workers’ rights and most of us are glad to see that this is being done. However, I hope the minister is aware that new workplace methods are constantly being developed through the internet, automation and artificial intelligence to carry out many tasks previously handled by employees. This new paradigm amounts to an unstoppable movement that allows for more production and efficiency to be generated with less people. Now nowhere in the minister’s statement was there any mention of measures to boost worker productivity, effectively making these labour laws changes a one-way street in favour of the worker. I’m sorry to say, Mr Minister, but with all due respect, if we do not urgently find parallel avenues to boost worker productivity in all areas, you are going to experience significant drops in employment everywhere, as endless employers increase their efforts to achieve maximum productivity with an absolute minimum number of workers. GREGORY WIGHT Maraval The post Reform is a 2-way street appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
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