The Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies (CCLCS) has called on government to consider the role of the working-class and unions when considering its post-pandemic recovery plans.
In celebration of Labour Day on Saturday, the college in a media statement on Friday said it was unfortunate that the pandemic became the lens through which labour must view its future.
“As national and regional post-covid19 recovery plans are developed one of the key issues that must be addressed is the large number of the socially vulnerable in the working-class rank and file.
“It has never been more apparent that we are some distance away from securing an adequate social protection floor in the society.”
CCLCS lobbied for a rights-based and participatory approach to social protection as a human right, as opposed to a variable network of grants and temporary acts of charity.
It is a necessary element of transparent, equitable and nom-discriminatory recovery and resilience strategies, CCLCS pointed out.
It also noted that the world of work was further developed and evolving before the pandemic brought about stay at home public health orders, and unprecedented advancements in digitalisation, which has challenged TT’s infrastructural, technological and social preparedness for the future of work.
“Covid19 has also demonstrated that a significant number of working people lie outside the structures of formal representation. Women and participants in the informal sector – two groups with a significant degree of overlap and impact on the social well-being of the nation – have disproportionately experienced the negative effect of this natural health-care disaster.
“The nature and structure of worker representation must continue to evolve as we deal with the issues of gender, exclusion, informality and “gig-ification” in this brave new world.”
CCLCS also called on workers and unions to uphold their responsibilities to ensure that they were prepared to meet the challenges the economy and society would be permanently faced with.
In celebration of Labour Day, the college also recognised former president general of the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union George Weekes with a week of activities starting June 21. The sessions are free to the public and registration can be done at the Elma Francois Institute for Research and Debate on Facebook or email email@example.com.