Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Labour Day, PM Keith Rowley recognizes their contribution. Picture Credits: Fb accounts

Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Labour Day, PM Keith Rowley recognizes their contribution

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Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad and Tobago celebrate Labour Day on Wednesday as a public holiday in order to recognize the invaluable contribution of all the patriots of 1937. Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley also celebrated all those people who continued to struggle over the past decades for the recognition of labour who are making efforts to assert the rights of workers.

PM Rowley acknowledged all the patriots of that era, including Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler, Adrian Cola Rienz and many more who stood side by side in the crucible against the colonial authorities. While greeting all the people on the occasion of Labour Day, the leader of the nation shed light on the first oil well being produced by Trinidad and Tobago.

He noted that every citizen must remember that their nation ranks among the world’s first oil producers. He further asserted that first successful oil well was drilled in 1866 in Aripero by Wlter Darwent and later began the commercial production in 1908.

While sharing the history, he added that Trinidad was established as an oil-producing colony by 1930s but the benefits of resources of the island nation were not felt among the masses of labour. PM Rowley remarked that during that time, workers were forced to survive in poor health and in poverty, which was increasing to a great extent.

The workers later organised themselves into labour unions by the late 1930s and created a new climate of negotiations in industrial relations which was formed in 1960s with the establishment of an Industrial court.

He stated that labour movement has faced major challenges due to technological advancements. He added that it is not just Trinidad and Tobago but many industries across the globe are going through this problem.

Further, PM Keith Rowley shared his views on AI and called it a “psycho-social” impact. He said that it has created a huge impact on the jobs and lives of several people be it factory workers, knowledge workers, such as accountants, engineers, bankers or any other. He stated that there is also a counterargument which is framed about AI that is it unleashes new levels of productivity and greater efficiencies.

He noted that there is a challenge for everyone, the employer, employee, labour movement and in fact the entire society. PM Rowley shared that there are several challenges that have emerged in 21st century but it is one’s responsibility to confront these realities with cooperation, respect and understanding.

He assured that the government of Trinidad and Tobago would always stand as a willing partner to recognise different perspectives in the mix for the development of the island nation. He stated that one thing that remains constant is change so, he asked everyone to be open to learn and temperamental in their various ways.