Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has given the assurance that he intends to engage the island???s largest private sector union ??? the Barbados Workers Union (BWU), on the kind of role it wants to play within the Social Partnership.

During brief introductory remarks this morning at the meeting of the full Social Partnership at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, PM Stuart said that during the proposed meeting, not only will they discuss the union???s role but also the fact that the BWU still remains outside of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations (CTUSAB).

???I don???t think that we can take up residence in cloud cuckoo land and beguile ourselves into the belief that we can have what we call a Social Partnership and the largest private sector union is outside of it. So, that is an issue that I will be taking up personally and we will be having a meeting with the BWU to certify the role it wants to play in the Social Partnership henceforth and of course reconfigure the Social Partnership in such a way as to ensure that the BWU is not excluded???,??? Mr. Stuart underscored.

Noting that, the BWU issue apart, he believed they had a good social partnership in place, the Prime Minister pointed out that they will continue to develop it, and that Government would continue to be committed to its growth and development.

?????? We look forward to its continued deepening and strengthening and of course we may have at some stage to discuss the broadening of the Social Partnership as it really has not changed since its stakeholder base???since its formation in any significant way. And, the stage may well be reached in the not too distance future where we broaden the space to include other social partners who have sufficient purchase in this society and let their voices be heard.???

Meanwhile, Head of the Barbados Private Sector Association, Alex McDonald expressed the hope that ???many more of these types of meetings would be held so that they could problem solve on a more fundamental basis???.

President of CTUSAB, Cedric Murrell, stated that he looked forward to charting the type of progress made during the meeting given the Social Partnership???s theme of revitalisation and growth in 2014, 2015 and beyond.

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