Barbados: DLP- Democratic Labour Party of Barbados wishes the labours of the nation on the occasion of Labour Day. DLP stated, “As Barbadian workers celebrate May Day this year, they do so mindful of the historical struggles and gains of workers.”
“The Democratic League of Women of the Democratic Labour Party at this time also reflects on the contribution to national development made by all workers, past, and present, across all sectors. In so doing, we acknowledge the number of workers who were themselves sacrificed in the workers’ struggle and we publicly acknowledge Dr. Hon Esther Byer-Suckoo for her invaluable historic contribution to the workers’ cause,”- DLP.
Adding to this DLP asserted, “The first-ever female Minster of Labour in Barbados, serving from 2009 to 2018, Dr. Esther established a legacy as a defender of workers’ rights and an advocate of safe, healthy, tolerant, and supportive work environments.”
“During her tenure as Minister of Labour, she piloted progressive labor legislation, including a new Holidays with Pay Act (2017), The Employment Sexual Harassment (Prevention) Act (2017), and the Employment Rights Act (2012), a statute that was promised since the 1970s. Under her ministerial leadership, the Employment Rights Tribunal was also established.”
The League notes that before the proclamation of the Employment Rights Act, a Barbadian worker’s dismissal by an employer could only be deemed wrongful. No dismissal could have been said to be unfair under the law because there was no legislation in which the rights of a worker were enshrined.
DLP officials added, “A wrongful dismissal was decided based on custom and practice, a common-law accommodation that evolved in the absence of employment legislation on our statute books. This all changed with the proclamation of the Employment Rights Act.
“Before the Employment Rights Act, the common law gave disproportionate favour to the employer, with the worker being seen as easily disposable. The ERA, however, brought balance to the employer-worker relationship by acknowledging the employment contract existing between the parties, the rights conferred on workers, and the duties imposed on employers,”- DLP.
Concluding the statement DLP stated, “This signal piece of legislation made the contract between the employer and the worker enforceable before a Tribunal established for that purpose and, ultimately, enforceable in a court of law. It gives workers certain legal rights which previously did not exist.”
Through the progressive policy initiatives enshrined in these pieces of legislation, the lives of workers in this country have been forever changed for the better and the playing field has indeed been made level. After years of sacrifices, the workers of Barbados
have gained without a doubt!
“Thank you, Dr. Esther, for your commitment to social justice for all Barbadian workers!,”- DLP.