PM: Government not lashing out

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is not backing down from her administration’s quest to ensure there are minimum standards for how workers are treated in Barbados, including those in the tourism sector.

She said anyone who says that providing such decent work will make their business uncompetitive is “effectively telling us that your business can only exist if it is exploiting labour”.

Mottley also dismissed suggestions that there was a conflict of interest involving herself and Government backbencher Toni Moore, who is general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union.

The Prime Minister was speaking in the House of Assembly yesterday during debate on the controversial Labour Clauses (Concessions) Bill, 2024. It seeks to legislate that businesses which receive Government concessions must agree to minimum standards governing how they treat their workers.

“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,” Mottley told the House.

She said that with minimum being a subjective word, “what the legislation simply seeks to do is to set a framework that allows us to be able to consult and settle what those minimum standards are. It does nothing more, nothing less”. (SC)

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