The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) is calling for a meeting of the country’s Social Partnership.
In a media release on Wednesday night, general secretary Dennis De Peiza said a meeting was necessary at this time to set a path for economic growth.
He noted the tripartite grouping had not met since June.
“Against the backdrop of the rising tide of unemployment, the closure of businesses, the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of the tourism sector and the indecision which surrounds the start of overdue projects, there is an urgent need for discussion at the level of the Social Partnership,” the release said.
“In light of the fact that the last Social Partnership meeting was held in the month of June 2020, CTUSAB calls for the convening of an urgent Social Partnership meeting.”
De Peiza said there was an urgent need to find solutions to sustain recovery efforts and maintain economic stability and said the challenges the country now faced were similar to those confronting it at the start of the year, so there must be a national response.
The general secretary said at that time, the Social Partnership had a series of planned meetings to “identify strategies to be implemented towards addressing the economic recovery and stability of Barbados”.
In April, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Barbados would lose about $450 million in revenue over the next year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced a national shutdown and crippled the tourist industry. She announced a $2 billion dollar plan designed to bring relief and stimulate business.
Last week, Professor Michael Howard said he was ““highly pessimistic about the immediate prospects for the Barbadian economy now undergoing the terrible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic” and could only foresee growth if there was a rapid rebound in tourism, but even when that sector was doing well last year, there was only 0.6 per cent economic growth.
Howard said neither the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme nor the Barbados Optional Savings Scheme were the answer, even as government’s senior economic advisor Kevin Greenidge defended the former.