Labour industrial relations webinar to highlight Workers’ Week

WORKERS’ Week 2021 will be highlighted by the staging of a labour industrial relations webinar on Wednesday, May 19, under the theme ‘Advancing Flexible Work Arrangements in Jamaica’.

Divisional director for industrial relations and allied services in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Gillian Corrodus, told JIS News that the webinar is part of the ministry’s ongoing ‘Labour Talks’ series.

“This webinar will focus on how to get it right in terms of advancing flexible work arrangements and being a regional leader as Jamaica encourages persons to work remotely,” she said.

Corrodus pointed out that the pandemic had redefined the workplace and “we need to recognise that the way organisations are managed has to change”.

She noted that the ministry, through its Labour Talks series, has been speaking about the future of work even before the pandemic.

The two-hour-long webinar will explore strategies to position Jamaica as a regional leader in remote work; the current situation in the public and private sectors; and the challenges and lessons learned.

Panellists include businessman Wayne Chen, representing the Caribbean Employers’ Federation; president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, Helene Davis Whyte; chief director for industrial relations in the ministry, Michael Kennedy; attorney-at-law, Employment Matters Caribbean, Carla-Anne Harris Roper; senior director, Research and Measurements Unit, Jamaica Productivity Centre, Mikhail-Ann Urquhart; and acting head, Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, Lauren Marsh.

Workers’ Week 2021 will be observed from May 16 to 24 under the slogan: ‘Safeguarding our Labour Force Amid COVID-19’.

Activities will culminate with the observance of Labour Day under the slogan ‘Stay at Home, Stay Safe and Clean up yuh Space’.

Workers’ Week is a time to reflect on the labour uprisings of the 1930s and the sacrifices made by workers locally and regionally to gain freedom and rights, notably the freedom to have representation at work.


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