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Jun 21, 2016

A Seminar for Labor Industry Stakeholders

Ivan Williams

The University of the West Indies Open Campus Belize, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, is hosting a three day workshop for stakeholders entitled “Reinventing Collective Bargaining in the Public and Private Sectors”. It’s all about enhancing the relationship between employers and employees, and is being facilitated by regional lecturers in employee relations. According to local labor representatives, a strong relationship is integral to the growth of the labor industry.


Ivan Williams, Labor Commissioner

“While there might be a need for strikes and lockouts, because the employer can lock you out too and the unions can take industrial action in the form of strikes, in many respects it is a waste of resources. So if we can have parties working together in a more harmonious relations where there is trust, respect and so on, then we can bring about a better appreciation for the collective bargaining process, so this three day workshop is all about that, to introduce a new approach to collective bargaining entitles Interest Based Bargaining which seeks to empower the sides to appreciate the other side’s position. So rather than you going into a negotiation only with what is in it for me all the time, you can appreciate the other person’s interests too.”


Hugo Patt

Hugo Patt, Minister of Labor

“What we have to accept is that this is a marriage. This is a situation where we have two principal bodies, one being the employers and the other being the employees. We have to understand that in an industry we can’t have one living without the other. We have to understand that we have to sit down at a table and at the end of the day be able to negotiate. How do we proceed from that aspect of moving our own agendas into one of our industries – into moving a development agenda for our industry is one that we want to empower everybody? You will notice that it is open to the employers and the employees – the workforce, the labor workforce versus the investors. We brought it up in a situation where we want them to understand fully how we want to engage in terms of moving forward, in the kinds of tactics, in the kinds of skills but more importantly in empowering our own people to be able to better bargain in such situations.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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