Are workers given enough protection under our Labour laws?

Are the labour laws of Grenada protecting the hard working men and women of this country? Employers are continuing to victimise and take advantage of employees who are giving an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

There are lots of disgruntled claimants who are dissatisfied with the slow response coming from the Labour Ministry or Minister of Labour when it comes to responding or resolving claims and settling disputes between employees and employers.

I have always believed in fair treatment for all, if it’s something that the ministry can’t handle. I know there are procedures to follow if it can’t be resolved in anyway -. let it go before the arbitration tribunal committee.

I’m not pleased with the way the working class of this country are treated, it leaves me to wonder, who are the laws really protecting, is it workers rights?

In many instances the employer is always right because they have a voice and many advantages over you because in this society it’s all about “who know who”.

I have always been questioning myself lately and wondering if it is an employer’s protection act? Lots of hard working Grenadians are being victimised daily at the work place and nothing is being done about it and when reported to Labour all you keep getting is run around here and there.

I am very disappointed because I want to see matters being expedited more urgently – everyone concerns should be treated with uttermost respect in a more dignified way.

I think the trade union movement should take an affirmative stand and
really rally for workers rights in this country,but I guess they have now fallen under the helm of government and bribery from employers.

One thing they should have never done is mixed pleasure with business – the whole trade union movement has now become corrupt with greed instead of fighting to protect workers rights and they often find themselves fighting for supremacy over who should lead and who should not.

The victims here are always the hard working men and women who are made to suffer under the hands of employers who could care less about the working class. All they are interested in is getting their work done, caring less about your feelings or emotions because they continue to treat individuals like objects and not like humans.

There is no voice for the small man who is being victimised daily.

Who is willing to stand with the small man and hear his concerns? Mr. Labour Minister and the Ministry of Labour also the Trade Union Council, you have fallen short in so many areas that finding hope through peaceful mediation and dialogue has become very hopeless.

I dislike when hard working individuals can’t find refuge in the legislation that vows to protect them because it’s all the justice workers have and will be able to get, that last piece of dignity has now fallen under the hands of corruption.

What was meant to protect us workers and as citizens of the state of Grenada has now become a horrific nightmare.

Lots of exploitation are taking place and what are they doing for the working class? Nothing, but playing the dirty games with employers, accepting bribes while workers are suffering.

Our very rights are infringed upon and our trade unionists are playing hide and seek. Chester has now gotten into bed with the dirty politics. It has now become a marriage of connivance for he is now the President of the Senate.

I have never, not once viewed him as a true advocate for workers right for he was always after his own self ego. He has now succumbed to the government – they have spat in his mouth and gave him butter to eat and as a result he has now become a lame duck under bureaucracy of dictatorship.

Grenadians need to look for young bloods to fight the battle for workers rights. I have always believed affirmative action is needed because when those we have entrusted to play a leading role and they have failed us miserably, who do we turn to?

What are we to do next to move forward on those pressing issues of workers rights?

I was listening to a middle aged lady lamenting on how she was treated in the workplace and yet she was dismissed wrongfully – her experience was a heartbreaking one.

I had to empathise with her for we all are in the same boat because today is hers, tomorrow is mine. What she had to go through was very unfortunate and uncalled for. It’s always said when you are poor you are exposed.

This is so because lots of Grenadians don’t know their fundamental rights for we need to know what our Constitution states under the Labour Code and what we are entitled to as citizen of this beautiful nation of ours.

The trade union movement needs revamping, we need advocates not players who are mixing pleasures with business. When we allow that to happen we create crossed breeds without pedigree because the trade union movement is already in limbo for there is too much infighting and war of words amongst each other and the real issues they should be fighting for is not being addressed.

The only individual I see within the trade union movement that can really make a difference is Senator Raymond Roberts. I have chosen to describe him “as a man that is set in his ways, he doesn’t bend for anything, he always takes affirmative actions and he will fight for what he believes in.

He reminds me of the democrats and republicans – you don’t vote on a bill because it is brought forward by the party you represent, that choice is yours to make.

I really appreciate him and the contributions that he is making as a Senator. I see him as being the only serious individual within the Senate – all the rest are puppets controlled by their masters.

Sen. Raymond Roberts, I must say congratulation to you sir for a job well done. I see you as a champion in the Senate. Let your voice be heard and ring the message out. It’s very sad to see the way things are turning out in this country – freedom of speech are being trampled upon and are being suffocated by the very said persons who vow to protect our rights and freedom.

And after those rights are violated, they often turn around and tell us, “I am doing it to protect you”. Well I’ll say, to hell with you and you protection. It’s not workers you are protecting, its employers who continue to treat workers bad.
For all the injustice, compensation is not needed but rather stiffer penalties and incarceration of those law breakers – they should be made to feel the pain of their actions.

There have been so many flaws in the labour system. I think it often makes it difficult when seeking justice and it can be very frustrating at times. It often makes you want to give up because the whole process takes too long to get resolved and that is my concept of it.

I’m someone that take no sides. I say it as I see it when our fundamental rights are being played with. There must be a voice for those who do not have one. Sometimes I often wonder if confidentiality does exist within the ministry because as soon as someone climbs those steps to make a report, the employer knows . I see this as a breach of confidentiality.

When this happens, you become a victim of hate in the work place and you are then seen as a “Traitor” when actually you are only protecting your rights.

That’s the unfairness that exist within the system.

Brian Joseph

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