THE EDITOR: While I am 100 per cent for the employee, I am extremely disturbed by the unions’ purpose in this country. “The main purpose of labour unions is to give workers the power to negotiate for more favourable working conditions and other benefits through collective bargaining.”
However, here in Trinidad the purpose appears to be to sabotage production and efficiency in any organisation. Employees are basically stagnated in the workplace as a result of the limitations placed on them by the union. The concept of not going “outside” your job scope, not even for one day, hampers not only the employee but the organisation.
An employee can only develop if he/she is exposed to other skill sets. The fact that an employer is limited to his/her job scope not only blocks the employee from self-development, it also impacts the organisation’s ability to utilise the employee outside of his or her job description, which in reality hinders the employee’s future opportunities.
Telling a “cleaner” he/she cannot clean toilets in the absence of a co-worker only serves to disrupt the organisation and does not support production in any organisation. Hence the reason TT continues to fail at production and efficiency.
The purpose of any organisation is to fully utilise its full workforce at all times. While there are contingency plans in place, all should understand that employee flexibility is critical in a productive workplace.
While working in US I was granted many opportunities to cross-train, fill in and attend numerous training sessions while not being monetarily compensated. However, in the long run the benefit outweighed the few extra dollars.
I was promoted several times due to the fact I had acquired different skill sets during those uncompensated short-term times. Never once did I state that is not my job, a statement that is common in the workplace here in TT.
We must understand if we are to progress as a nation our ideologies must change to align with First World standards. Yes, by all means protect the employee. However, seek the interest of the organisation to promote a productive and efficient workplace.
At times we appear to be our worst enemy. Did the Petrotrin fiasco not teach us anything?
MICHELLE DYMALLY DAVIS