Tripartite Council in ‘aggressive’ agenda

A Cabinet minister has described the 16 projects in the National Tripartite Council’s strategic plan to improve workplace relations as “aggressive and ambitious”.

Senator Dion Foulkes, minister of labour, addressing the council’s recent general assembly, said its top priority was the development and passage of national productivity legislation - something he described as “critical to the future economic growth of The Bahamas”.

“This initiative is the number one priority of the National Tripartite Council, and critical to the future economic growth of the Bahamian economy,” he said. “The transformation of the Industrial Tribunal is another exciting project of the council, and is vital to the restoration of confidence in the nation’s dispute resolution system.

“Labelled as innovative and transformative, the Tribunal project will need advice and input from other stakeholders outside the traditional social partners to be successful.”

The National Tripartite Council proposes to convert the Tribunal into the industrial side of the Supreme Court. It is holding a workshop on April 5 to review the current legislation for achieving this transition, and to establish the rules for the new forum.

Featuring representatives from the trade unions, private sector and the government, the National Tripartite Council was created to act as a forum for resolving all workplace, industrial relations and labour matters.

“In addition to the approximate 16 projects emanating out of the National Tripartite Council’s strategic plan, I am told that council members will, over the next few months, also have a renewed focus on the Dispute Resolution Protocol,” Mr Foulkes said.

“This mechanism, which is designed for urgent intervention by National Tripartite Council executives to discuss and resolve disputes that may have national implications, has proven to be successful and has resulted in two new collective bargaining agreements being executed and the settlement of a number of long-standing issues.”