1st Vice President of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC), Andre Lewis has issued a call for trade unionism to be taught in school as a career path for young persons.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Lewis who is associated
with the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), said this is needed so that the younger generation can get to understand the relevance of trade unionism, as well as ensure that young people are actively involved in the essence of trade unionism.
‘The young generation does not necessarily have to be those in schools because those in school are children of the existing trade unionists and activists and therefore being able to meet and socialise together, communicate together, would be a leading, a pivotal role in ensuring that the relevance of the labour movement remains but not only remains but to have young persons actively involved and interested in becoming trade unionists as they graduate out of school,” he said.
According to Lewis, in order for this to be successful, the young persons must have the yearning and desire for the industry.
“To say look I want to make trade unionism a career and part of the objective of the labour movement, the TUC (should) try to secure scholarships to give benefits to our members so that we can send persons outside to train, to study at the levels of the university and they can come back directly into the labour movement”, he said.
“…We have made repeated calls for trade unionism to be taught as part of the syllabus in schools and not when you go to the back of the social studies book or to the back of the history book – by that time kids are already to leave school … we want to make it an integral part – we have done so for years,” he added.
Like Lewis, 2nd Vice President of TUC, Kenny James echoed similar sentiments and announced that at a recent conference in the Bahamas of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) the issue came up for discussion.
“I penned a resolution that the CCL would take to CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) asking them to develop a syllabus that is going to speak to the issue of trade unionism in the Caribbean that young people could study this and write exams and… understand the critical importance of what this is all about,” he said.
“We have theatre arts on the curriculum and that is because we recognised that this is important to our development. Similarly something like Trade Unionism is critical and so we want it on board,” he added.