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Posted: Wednesday 8 May, 2024 at 7:19 PM

Trades and Labour Union continues championing rights of Federation’s workers

Labour Day March 2024: SKNT&LU officials at the corner of Central and Church Streets with their headquarters, Masses House, on the r/l: Mr James Pemberton, Ms Kirsty Lennon, Mr Sydney Bridgewater, Ms Eva Henderson, and Ms Precious Mills...
By: Peter Ngunjiri, Press Release

    BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 8, 2024 (MMS-SKN) -- While the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union (SKNT&LU) was founded in 1940, but with roots tracing back to the Workers’ League which had been established in 1932, it remains relevant today as it continues to play a pivotal role in championing the rights of workers.


    “At present, our union sits as the Workers’ Representative on a number of national bodies and committees, namely - The National Tripartite Committee, Minimum Wage Advisory Committee, Social Security Board, Solid Waste Management Board, and the TVET Council,” revealed SKNT&LU’s Secretary General, Ms Precious Mills, when she addressed workers at the Patsy Allers Field on Monday May 6 at the end of the Labour Day March 2024.


    Officers and members of SKNT&LU, led by President Mr Sydney Bridgewater and General Secretary Ms Precious Mills, had joined leaders, officers and members of the St. Kitts Nevis Labour Party led by National Leader, and Prime Minister, the Hon Dr Terrance Drew, for the Labour Day March which started at the Patsy Allers Field, taking the workers through the three Basseterre constituencies, and back to Patsy Allers Field.  


    Other SKNT&LU Officers present included Second Vice President Mr James Pemberton, Assistant General Secretary Ms Kirsty Lennon, Treasurer Ms Tanessa Caines-Charles, Field Officer Mr Sean Kelly, Floor Member Ms Eva Henderson, and Floor Member George Dixon.


    “The history of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union is a testament to the power of collective action and the importance of workers’ rights,” said the Secretary General. “From its inception, the union has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights of workers, particularly in the face of adversity and challenges.”


    She told the workers that the union’s founding principles of unity, solidarity, and advocacy continue to guide its efforts to this day, as it remains committed to representing the interests of workers and advocating for social justice. This was received with nods of appreciation by the assembled workers taking into consideration that St. Kitts and Nevis now has the highest minimum wage in the Caribbean, a feat that was achieved this year.


    According to the Secretary General, the SKNT&LU is dedicated to providing support and assistance to its members in various ways. From legal services to educational opportunities, the union offers a range of resources to help workers navigate the complexities of the labour market and protect their interests.


    By fostering a sense of community and solidarity among its members, she added, the union creates a supportive environment where workers can come together to address common challenges and pursue shared goals.


    Too often, workers view unions as a last resort, seeking their assistance only when faced with grievances or disputes,” Ms Mills pointed out. “However, this reactive approach fails to harness the full potential of collective action. It is critical for workers to understand that joining a union is not just about seeking assistance in times of need - it is about building a proactive community that advocates for their rights, welfare, and betterment.”


    Workers were reminded that one of the most significant advantages of them uniting under a union like the SKNT&LU is the power of collective bargaining, as in doing so and standing together, they gain leverage in negotiating better wages, benefits, and working conditions with employers.


    “This collective strength enables workers to amplify their voices and demand fair treatment in the workplace,” noted Ms Mills. Calling for workers to stand united in pursuit of common goals, she added: “Solidarity among workers is essential for effecting meaningful change and addressing systemic issues that affect all employees.”


    Making a plea for workers to join the Union, the Secretary General said: “Our Union wishes to point out that the SKNT&LU is not merely a hospital for resolving workers’ problems but rather it is a home - a community where every worker’s voice matters, and where collective action paves the way for meaningful change.”








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