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PM says Labour Code retreat ‘progressing reasonably well’

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Contact: Prime Minister's Press Secretary

Wednesday, November 1, 2006 - Representatives of the social partners – Government, Trade Unions and Employers -- yesterday began a three-day retreat at the Conference Room of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) to conclude consultations on the Draft Labour Code.

Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony says the intention is to achieve the best possible consensus among social partners.

According to the Prime Minister, who is chairing the proceedings, “yesterday’s discussions went reasonably well, with lots of give-and-take between the unions and the employers.”

Describing the exercise as “one designed to fashion a Labour Code based on consensus,” the Prime Minister said the intention is to provide Saint Lucia with “a progressive Labour Code.”

He said he would “have much preferred if we had made even more progress yesterday,” but, “given the nature of the activity, as much consensus as possible must be sought.”

Yesterday’s discussions followed opening remarks by the Prime Minister, the President of the Trade Union Federation, Mr Joseph Dosserie and the Executive Director of the Private Sector Council Mr Joe DuBois.

The retreat began a day earlier, after the Prime Minister agreed to an urgent request by the Private Sector Council of St. Lucia to reschedule its start from today.

The Private Sector Council had earlier sought to advance the start of the retreat, explaining that the original “timing of the retreat [was] inconvenient to their Legal Advisor.”

The Private Sector Council comprises the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, the St. Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association, the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association and the St. Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association.

The retreat continues today and will end tomorrow.

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