Acting Chief Labour Officer, Victor Felix. (FP)

This country’s Acting Chief Labour Officer, Victor Felix, has sounded the warning that his department will not tolerate any practices that do not conform to this island’s labour laws.

Addressing the opening of a two-day labour management relations seminar at the Warrens Office Complex, Mr. Felix encouraged labour officials to report any suspected cases of forced labour.  He pointed out that this was one of the areas the department was keen on stamping out.

Mr. Felix added: “Sometimes, we think that in Barbados there is not that particular challenge with forced labour, but we know, and are aware of the emergence of what they call ‘modern day slavery’, where persons were misled into believing they are travelling to Barbados for a legitimate job offer, and when they turn up, they realise they are working in something else other than they have been expecting.”

He continued: “So, we want to do all in our power to move away and ensure that those kinds of things do not happen in our jurisdiction.  And, where we have any sense that [these acts] might be occurring that we draw it to the attention of the authorities.”

During the seminar, which attracted participants from both the public and private sectors, Mr. Felix gave the assurance that his department was committed to working with all stakeholders to achieve the “objectives of attaining a desirable standard and maintenance of labour management in the workplace”.

The Chief Labour Officer also reminded participants that the Labour Department frowned upon discrimination, and pointed out that they had the right to organise and bargain collectively.

The seminars conclude tomorrow, Friday, November 24.

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