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IRA overhaul long overdue

As an industrial relations practitioner and patriot I have been waiting impatiently for the Government to begin the bureaucratic process of amending the now prehistoric Industrial Relations Act.

The Industrial Relations Act was last amended in 1972, after its earlier incarnation in the form of the Industrial Stabilization Act of 1965. This piece of legislation was introduced upon the recommendations of the Donovan and Moyne commissions of enquiry, which highlighted the need for a formal procedure for the amicable settlement of industrial disputes.

Today, notwithstanding the resounding mandate given by the people on 24th May 2012, in addition to individuals in the Government with strong backgrounds in industrial relations in the likes of Minister of Labour, Small and Micro Enterprises Development Errol Mc Leod, former labour minister, Roodal Moonilal and Senator James Lambert, the Government is yet to table this piece of legislation in Parliament.

Further, the silence of watchdog organisations like the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Employers' Consultative Association's on this issue has been regrettably noted.

These organisations are aware that there are quite a number of businessmen and entrepreneurs who are reluctant to invest further into our economy because of the perceived pro-worker legislation.

It is therefore imperative that apart from the major investment initiatives that are scheduled to come on stream in 2013 that the Government begin the process of amending the Industrial Relations Act. I believe this would definitely go a long way into reinstating some semblance of confidence into the economy of T&T.

Anthony Wells

via e-mail

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