The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on the government of Grenada to indicate what they have been doing to facilitate tripartite consultations within the ambits of the ILO Convention.
The ILO Committee of Experts, wrote to the government of Grenada complaining that the November 2009 report is not detailed enough and does not include information on the measures taken to ensure effective tripartite consultations in that country.
Grenada is a signatory to the Tripartite Consultation (Labour Standard) Convention (C144) which mandates countries to establish tripartite committees comprising representatives from government, employers’ organizations and workers organizations.
These committees are to meet on a regular basis to look at and create avenues for the implementation of recommendations from the ILO with respect to Labour Standards.
Chairman of the Labour Advisory Board of Grenada Cyrus Griffith, who is also the Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of Labour said that as far as the Ministry and the Board is aware, they have been including relevant information in the reports to the ILO. He said however that he is in the process of reviewing the report as well as the letter from the ILO with a view to responding directly to their concerns.
“So what we are prepared to do is go through the report again and see the question they had asked; what is their concern with regard to the detail report and try and give them as much information as possible.”
The reports of governments who have ratified this convention are to be submitted to the ILO Committee of Experts in September of each year, ahead of their November meeting. One of the concerns the ILO had with Grenada was the tardiness in submitting reports.
Griffith said he has spoken to Pierre Francois, Specialist in International Labour Standards and Labour Law in the ILO regional office in Trinidad, and has been given up to 23 November to submit the report, which is when the Committee of Experts is expected to meet.
“He (Pierre Francois Recoing) said if the information can reach to them by the 23rd of November that should be okay for Grenada.”
Griffith said despite the fact that sometimes the reports are submitted to the ILO Committee of Experts late, the Labour Advisory Board is active and functioning within the regulations of Convention 144.
The representative of the Grenada Employers’ Federation on the Board, Jasmine Alexander agreed that the board was functioning and believes that “it would continue to play an important role in providing suggestions/recommendations …that would guide the Minister for Labour & the Ministry, on labour-related matters for Grenada”.
“A wide range of labour issues come to the fore-front for discussion, two of which are critical – Amendments to the Grenada Labour Code & Minimum Wage for Grenada,” Alexander said.
Government representative on the Board and a former Labour Commissioner Mr. Robert Robinson said though he believes the decisions of the Board are critical in maintaining a fairly stable labour climate in Grenada, he thinks that if given the chance, it can do more.
“It does make some impact, but I don’t think it makes as much as it should,” Robinson said.
He said he believes for it to be more effective it needs to meet more often.
According to the Labour Code of Grenada, which sets out the functions of the Labour Advisory Board, the Board should meet at least four times per year. But Robertson said that is not always possible due to the other demanding commitments of its members.
“When meetings are summoned you have to make sure that the employers’ representatives are available, that the workers’ representatives are available and you know in these days, just fixing meetings like that is a problem.”
The employers and employees organizations each have three representatives on the Board.