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New Report on Workers' Rights in Barbados

New Report on Workers' Rights in Barbados

Brussels, 17 September 2008 (ITUC OnLine): A new report by the world's
largest trade union body, the ITUC, on core labour standards in Barbados
has been issued today to coincide with the country's Trade Policy Review
at the WTO.

The report notes that on a number of issues the government has not
complied fully with the commitments it has made, although it has
ratified all eight ILO fundamental conventions.

"Without legal protection, trade unionists cannot do their work at the
company level," underlined Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary, drawing
attention to the fact that under national employment legislation in
Barbados, employers are not legally obliged to recognise trade unions.
The ITUC report further finds that the legislation in place does not
provide adequate protection to workers' representatives.

The report argues that the government's efforts to tackle gender
discrimination in employment and remuneration need to be strengthened so
as to improve the position of women in the labour market. "Reducing the
gender pay gap requires the full commitment of employers, workers and
government," added Ryder.

On a positive note the report welcomes the work done in cooperation
between public authorities and social partners to fight discrimination
against HIV-AIDS infected persons on the labour market.
The report highlights important shortcomings in current legislation on
the prohibition of child labour. It argues that the government should
strengthen the legal protection of children and young persons from
hazardous work.

Finally, the report emphasises that the situation of migrant workers
requires more attention from the government of Barbados, in the light of
reliable evidence of discrimination against foreign workers including in
the garment and construction sectors.


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