N Touch
Wednesday 22 May 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Trade unionism in a crisis

THE EDITOR: Have trade unions in this country really outlived their usefulness? Trade unionism is in crisis in TT today. It is a case of water and no flour...with apologies to NFM.

Firstly, unions need to reinvent and realign to attract new members. They need to be more transparent especially in how their income which is mainly derived from members’ monthly dues, is spent.

Note well, unions need to be more appealing to potential new members in order to broaden its base and appeal to a larger section of society. Membership fees are too expensive; freeze them. Trade unions need to act as a form of employment agency for workers that provide job security.

We need to move beyond slogans and singing. The traditional union’s role of threatening strikes much more often than calling for them and cutting effective deals, must change. We need to transform negotiation skills...not spilling oil and setting fire. Unions must develop training programmes. Trade unions must change with the changing times for the betterment of Trinidad and Tobago.


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