Minister Lauds Tech Firm For Workplace Policies

Joy-Ann Gill Top Stories

Minister of Labour, Colin Jordan (right) listens attentively to AGILE Coach at Hyuna, Rik James (left) while Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Tony Wiltshire; Acting Assistant Chief Labour Office, Wayne Sobers; and Chief Financial Officer, Hyuna, Gregory Webster, look on. (A.Reid/BGIS)

“An eye opener!” That’s what Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan received yesterday, when he visited Hyuna, a work environment he was “totally unfamiliar with”, at Balmoral Gap, Hastings, Christ Church.

In recounting his experience to media representatives following the visit to Hyuna, Mr. Jordan, praised the company’s policy of hiring Barbadians and producing technological solutions locally, for the global market.

He said: “Hyuna is a company that is really producing solutions internationally and so those who work here get the sense that they are contributing not just to solutions in Barbados but solutions across the world.”

Established in 2011, Hyuna International Ltd. is a digital multimedia service platform that offers content in the form of movies, music, e-Books, audiobooks and video games. It employs 116 persons and through its vast online presence and relationships with various partners and affiliates, it has established a global presence in the online streaming market.

Mr. Jordan, while noting Barbadians had to be more outward looking as a country, said though being small and operating in a big world, the island had the capacity, intellectually and otherwise, to provide solutions for the world. “We have provided icons for the world  in cricket, in some other sports, to varying degrees and in entertainment. We also have the capacity to produce and provide solutions for the world,” he stressed.

Impressed by the ergonomics and work arrangements in place at Hyuna, the Labour Minister added: “What I find in this operation is that there are attempts to make the workplace more attractive and that is what we would want to encourage companies to do.  You know if you want to retain people then people need to feel like coming to work….

“Employers need to understand that people who are happy working in a place, who are comfortable in a place, will produce…This is an interesting structure, setup in modern times especially where solutions and tech solutions are being developed; where people can actually be relaxed, be comfortable and deliver on the mandate that they have been given.

Summing up his visit to Hyuna, Mr. Jordan said it spoke to the fact that as  Barbados moved towards a more digital economy and platform – a technology-driven way of doing business and managing a country – policies would have to accommodate these different ways of doing business.

“I think that as a Ministry of Labour what is essential to us is the way we do things has to change while we ensure that workers are protected and that there is a point below which those standards do not fall,” he surmised.

The visit to Hyuna was followed by tours to Chickmont Eggs Division, Balls Plantation, Christ Church and MQI Ltd, Wildey, St. Michael.

Explaining the rationale for his workplace tours, the Labour Minister said they provided opportunities to “to talk to staff; to get an idea of the company’s position on safety and health in the work place/occupational safety and health; their work place practices and how they motivate workers”.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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