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Guyana’s Honorary Consul to Barbados, Norman Faria, is calling on the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) to stop “playing politics” and be more “worker friendly” when it comes to migrant workers.Faria was responding to the recent CCL statement on the ongoing public discussion on undocumented CARICOM nationals in Barbados, who have been told they would be put off the island at the end of the year.He said that while the CCL is correct that fellow CARICOM countries must respect the sovereignty of Barbados in immigration matters, it is “somewhat strange that the regional trade union umbrella body in English Caribbean should spend so much of its statement attacking the governments in those countries from where the migrants come.”Faria said this amounts to “playing politics”. The General Secretary of the CCL is Guyanese Lincoln Lewis,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, who has served in senior positions in trade unions here,Cheap Jerseys From China, including the Trades Union Congress. The CCL has its headquarters in Barbados.In a statement late last month, Lewis charged that the argument that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) is in crisis because of the Bajan government’s action holds no ground.“What we should be confronting and debating are the failures of some CARICOM governments in discharging their responsibility to their citizens, “Lewis stated.He said the several statements attributed to political leaders that the CSME is in crisis has to be examined against the backdrop that over the years, serious decisions have been made by CARICOM Heads of Government to enhance the integration process, but leaders have failed to implement those decisions.However, Faria asserted that “the interests and image of the affiliate members would have been better served had the umbrella body been more responsible in its mandate to defend working peoples’ interests, regardless of whether they are undocumented or not.”The Guyana Consulate in Barbados continues to experience an “increased level” of inquiries about the implications of the Barbadian Prime Minister’s statement last month. Prime Minister David Thompson’s ruling Democratic Labour Party is giving undocumented CARICOM nationals a period to regularise their status, if they qualify, or leave the island by the end of the year.Faria said he is providing information about the Guyana government’s re-migrant programme, which is located in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Georgetown,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, about the tax and other exemptions available to Guyanese who wish to ship back items, including vehicle and tools back to their birthplace.Since Thompson’s statement in the Barbados parliament last month,Wholesale NBA Jerseys China, both Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo and St.Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves have voiced concerns about the present situation in CARICOM as it relates to free movement of peoples.Faria said the CCL head office should show leadership in assisting both the documented and undocumented workers.Faria wondered about whether the Congress’ top brass has a democratic discussion and interpretation of the protocols of the International Labour Oganisation (ILO) with regard to undocumented workers. According to Faria, the ILO clearly defends the rights of the undocumented, citing the example of an undocumented Mexican worker who was unfairly dismissed by a US firm.“From what I read of the CCL statement, as a former trade unionist, I was appalled about its less than worker-friendly thrust.“Where was its offer of assistance and comfort to obviously worried and stressed people?” Faria questioned.The CCL office should avoid engaging in ultimately futile talk about alleged shortcomings of governments in so called sending countries, Faria declared, calling attention to the fact that Barbadians are going overseas to work in the hospitality sector in the US, in health sectors in Bahamas and Bermuda and on farms in Canada.“This ‘blame the governments  back home ‘ is the type of talk we are hearing from right wing neo-fascist groups in Europe who are campaigning against swarthy looking people…coming to their countries,” Faria stated.A large number of persons waiting to conduct business with the Immigration Department Tuesday morning. (Barbados Advocate photo) He said such misplaced talk should have no place in the Caribbean labour movement with its deep time-honoured traditions of fighting for working peoples causes.“These are struggles out of which the main political parties, including those in Barbados, have roots. All of this is especially true against the background of the movement towards the CSME which the current leaders say they support,” said the Guyanese Consul.Faria praised the two main unions in Barbados – the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) – for their principled support for Guyanese and migrant workers generally in keeping with Barbadian laws and the spirit of international labour conventions.The six-month amnesty window, granted by Prime Minister David Thompson for those CARICOM immigrants living illegally in Barbados, officially opened Tuesday.At the beginning of last month, Thompson announced in Parliament that immigrants meeting certain criteria would have until December 1, to regularise their status or face deportation to their homeland.Requirements include provision of employment evidence, and the screening of the applicant through a thorough security and background check.The applicant must have entered Barbados before December 31, 2005 and have remained undocumented for a period of eight years or over.The decision,Wholesale Jerseys, according to the Prime Minister,Wholesale Jerseys From China, is as a result of current “unacceptably high” immigration levels, which are increasingly difficult to control and posed negative challenges for the island’s socio-economic status.At the Immigration Department Tuesday morning, a significant number of persons could be seen waiting to get inside its doors.
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