May Day is still very relevant to the social landscape of Barbados.
Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, emphasised this point yesterday, while speaking at the annual May Day media launch at the Barbados Worker’s Union.
While noting that Barbadians were deserving of the long weekend, Dr. Byer Suckoo encouraged persons not to forget the “true meaning” of the celebrations and the labour movement.
She told those gathered that May Day was really a call to “enhance dialogue and collaboration” between workers and the social partners, something that Barbadians have been fortunate to do without major unrest.
“What I would like to see is more workers join us. All workers should appreciate the significance of the day. This should be featured more in the media as a celebration of labour and the achievements of the labour movement; not just a day at the beach or long weekend…
“This year, the rallying cry for this May Day season is for Barbadian workers to be more productive… Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort,” the Labour Minister insisted.
She added that the Government of Barbados was committed to addressing the issue of productivity, and creating an enabling environment to push this mandate.
“Our role of facilitating and creating an enabling environment lends to higher profitability for companies, better compensation for workers and better quality goods and services for customers…
“Together, we must approach this goal of achieving greater productivity across all sectors in Barbados through the development of strategies and policies,” she stated.
The Labour Day Celebrations will culminate with the annual May Day Parade on May 1, which begins at the Garrison Savannah at 8:30 a.m. and ends at Browne’s Beach.