Speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s 82nd Annual Conference on Saturday, October 25, Mottely said this new protocol would be between the government, the labour movement and the private sector and would involve civil society and non-governmental organizations.
This new contract would emphasize such principles as spreading the country’s available resources as widely and fairly as possible and ensuring that government contracts are done in a manner so as to maximize the state’s financial resources and optimize the employment of Barbadians.
The Prime Minister also made an appeal for Barbadians to choose locally produced goods when possible, and promoting national manufacturing and agriculture, while preserving and producing jobs as first priority.
Barbados is currently working with a social partnership protocol which dates back to 1991, thus the Caribbean leader said a new one is necessary to allow for the creation of new job opportunities though national infrastructure projects.
“This Government is prepared to walk the extra distance to take the difficult decisions to do the complex things that would allow us to take money, and instead of only giving people the opportunity to reap large dividend, to ensure that that money can be spread as far and as wide as possible, in order for people to move forward,” she said.
“Barbados has to be managed by putting our people first at every step of the way. We have to be able to put jobs at the top of the list. We have to be able to support Barbadian production. Before you go to buy something, look for what was made in Barbados first because you are putting food on tables,” Mottley added.
The island state was among many which were severely hit economically when tourism came to a halt for several months amid the travel restrictions related to COVID-19.