Recognising that Child Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence have a heavy impact on the workforce, the Grenada Trade Unions Council has lent its voice to the call for appropriate penalties to be accorded to perpetrators.
President of the GTUC, Senator Andre Lewis told reporters at a press conference that the issues of Child Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence cannot be separated from the issues of the workforce.
According to Lewis, who is a member of the Grenada Senate, this vexing problem has a direct impact on productivity at the work place.
“That is why we must be involved in politics, we must be involved in social issues, we are not isolated from it – we cannot separate the workers’ issue from the wider societal issues”, he told the press conference held Monday at the GTUC Office at the Public Workers Union Building at Port Highway, St. George.
The trade union boss stressed that any parent who is at work at the time would be affected negatively by news that their young one was subjected to sexual abuse.
“Think about it, a parent who works in Company A is at work, gets a call that her child – a five year old – is sexually abused – what would be the state of mind, what would be the state of mind of her colleagues? Think about it. Think about the worker who comes to work every day after being abused by their partner, think about the impact it has on productivity, think about the impact it has on that worker,” he said.
Lewis is contending that any such affected parent will not be able to give of his/her best on the job.
“…Whether it is your child or not, given the cultural nature of our society, the outcry that came over the sexual harassment of the five year old and the killing of Ariel (Bhola) in November 2017 had dominated our concerns and talks for a long while”, he said.
“…That is why the Labour movement is lending their voice and would be more vigorously involved in making those demands. Yes, it impacts – we cannot separate ourselves, we cannot operate like a light switch … or be dissatisfied with the penalty that is being handed down and when you walk into the work place you switch on the light and therefore, your problems stays outside…” he added.
President of the Public Workers Union (PWU), Rachel Roberts echoed the sentiments of Lewis.
Roberts said that Child Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment are issues that affect parents at the workplace as in most cases the affected individual take “the stress of those issues with them into the work place”.
“They cannot be separated and the psychological, the emotional imbalances that those persons experience in the work place does have an impact on the other employees in the work place, on productivity within the work place,” she said.
“It does not just impact the workplace but it also impacts the children within the school system. And then we see we have a society of social problems and we wonder what is happening but it is because of those social issues affecting the people, affecting the workers…”, she added.
Roberts pointed out that the results are there to be seen within the society as one can see from “the behaviours of the children within the school system”, and also from “the bahaviours of the parents within the work place”.