Prime Minister Freundel Stuart speaking at today’s signing ceremony at Government Headquarters. Also pictured are (from left to right) Barbados Chamber of Industry and Commerce President, Lalu Vaswani; Barbados Private Sector Association Chairman, John Williams; Minister of?? State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Patrick Todd and Labour Minister, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.??(A. Miller/BGIS)

A resolution to extend Protocol VI by one year has been signed by the Social Partnership, led by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

And, shortly before the signing of the document today at Government Headquarters, Mr. Stuart said Government valued very highly the Social Partnership, which he described as maturing.

He told the gathering, which included workers and their representatives, employers and Government officials: "We accord it [the Social Partnership] the seriousness which we think it deserves, having regard to the fact that it has played so critical a role in the stabilisation of the relationship between workers, employers and the state.

"It is now not just an institution relevant to domestic consumption, it has now become an institution for export as other countries have sought the guidance of Barbados on how to put in place their own."

The Prime Minister explained that Protocol VII should have been signed this month, but because the negotiations had not been completed, the resolution was signed to allow the provisions of Protocol VI to continue governing the relationship between the parties.

??"We will extend Protocol VI for a year, with the intention that by May 2014 Protocol VII should be ready for signature.?? But, there would have been no hiatus in the Social Partnership and the spirit that governs the Social Partnership, while the provisions of Protocol VII are being settled," he stressed.

General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Sir Roy Trotman, said the social partnership model "is now the envy of governments and people across the world, including Asia and Africa".

President of the Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados, Cedric Murrell, stated that the Protocol would be used as a mechanism that allows for the growth and development of Barbados in these trying circumstances.

Chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association, John Williams, opined that over the past two decades the protocols had been central to the development of this country’s social and economic development. He assured the partners that the private sector and the business community would continue to work with them in doing what was in the best interest of Barbados.


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