NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A merger of the two umbrella trade unions in the country could be a positive move for labour relations in the country according to Labour Director Joh Pinder, telling Eyewitness News, “It can only help”.
In an interview with Eyewitness News Online Mr Pinder said the proposal to merger the National Congress of Trade Unions of The Bahamas and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas Trade Union Congress could prove positive, while noting that such a merger has been contemplated before.
“I think it’s a good idea. When Pat Bain was president of the National Congress of Trade Unions he made attempts at a merger, something just like how the Christian Council is set up. If there is one organization that should show unity it should be the trade union movement. There have been attempts to come under one umbrella before, we have to see if it materializes.”
He continued, “There is some level of unity now when it comes to both umbrella organizations regarding certain benefits and issues affecting workers in general. It’s just that both organizations have their own style. As a result of that some people prefer to be under one leader as opposed to the other or one umbrella organization as opposed to the other. It can only help, it can’t make matters worse. It should be a benefit for employers as they would know what the whole movement speaks about, how they are thinking and what they are looking for.”
Acting National Congress of Trade Unions (NCTU) president Paul Maynard recently told Eyewitness News Online that unions must put aside their differences or the labour movement in the country will soon be no more.
Mr Maynard told Eyewitness News the labour movement is too fragmented and is achieving very little in its current state.
“There is certainly a move to undermine the labour movement,” Maynard said.
“We want to bring everyone together. When you are fragmented you don’t accomplish much. We want to reach our full potential and give full value to our members. As leaders we need to dig deep and realize that if we don’t do something now the labour movement is going to go away.”
He continued: “A lot of people have misconceptions about the union being greedy etc but a lot of people struggled to get us where we are today. It will take some time to happen, to bring the unions together but we must. There are egos, a lot of bad blood and other stuff going. It will take a lot to deal with it but we have to make a concerted effort to deal with it. We have to work it out.”