Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart presenting the long service award to ADC Building and Maintenance Ltd. employee, Trevor Howell, at Saturday’s dinner and awards ceremony. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Barbadians are being encouraged to give of their best at work so that Barbados’ progress will not be put at??risk.

This plea has come from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, as he addressed the 20th anniversary dinner and awards ceremony of ADC Building and Maintenance Ltd last Saturday, at the Concorde Experience.

He told those gathered: "So, we all have to keep our hands to the plough. We all have to continue to do what our country requires of us, to ensure that the stability and the continued development of Barbados is guaranteed."

Noting that many employers were complaining that workers were not operating at their optimum and that the trade unions did not seem to appreciate this reality, Mr. Stuart maintained that persons in the public and private sectors needed to improve their performance.

"I, too, am concerned that too many people forget that giving an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay is what every employer, including the government, expects from workers whom they employ. And, the chorus is resonantly chanted very often that we do not produce enough. Our levels of productivity are too low because very many of our workers have very bad attitudes. I think that this is an issue that we cannot continue to ignore; the complaints come from too many different quarters."

The Prime Minister observed that although Barbados had "done very well as a country", workers needed to exercise greater responsibility, since success would depend not only "on what the employer did, but more so, on the amount of effort each worker was prepared to put in".

Concerning the view expressed by some that this country should be doing as well as other nations, he noted that sometimes persons were too harsh in judging the country???s performance.

He said: "The distinction between developed and developing countries is really a false distinction because there is no stage at which any country stops developing. Countries continue to develop. So, quite frankly all countries are in a process of development and, therefore, satisfy the definition of being developing countries. We are at different levels, we have different economic emphases, we have different resource bases, but we are all in that quest to satisfy the expectations and the needs, material and otherwise, of those citizens who exist in our borders and those persons, who, from other climes, come to spend time with us."

Moreover, the Prime Minister stated that Barbados, as a nation, had to recognise and come to grips with its shortcomings; zero in on them and do what is required "to bring those mountains and hills low; to make those crooked paths straight and make those rough paths smooth".

He said this was necessary so that all those "who have to deal with us and use our systems will see the benefit of improved services in this country". However, he conceded that this was not going to happen overnight, but pointed out that the country could ill afford to rest on its laurels, but must "continue to strive for excellence" and "to continue to seek higher things".

Concerning modernising outdated legislation to make the machinery of government run smoothly, Mr. Stuart disclosed that although a number of laws on the statute books were "in desperate need of change", this would be a very expensive process. He said: "Barbados has to stop and to choose between investing large sums of money in law reform and responding to the hot immediacies of provision of low income housing, for example, or strengthening our social safety net to ensure that the most vulnerable elements in the society do not fall through our cracks.

"Then we have some harsh choices to make because law reform to some will sound ethereal, will sound other worldly, will sound abstract from everyday reality. We usually have to spend our money [and] expend our resources on those things that touch people more intimately from day-to-day. And, that is the fate of a developing country like Barbados."

Mr. Stuart congratulated the management of ADC Building and Maintenance Ltd for reaching such a milestone and said the company’s success reflected commitment, patience, character, and discipline.

Several employees received awards during the ceremony, with mason Trevor Howell copping the prize for 20 years of service, and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Adrian Christie, receiving the Outstanding Businessman Award for his visionary leadership.


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