12 February 2015
LABOUR TAKES A SEAT AT THE DEVELOPMENT TABLE
Labour issues, initiatives, and outcomes were placed squarely on the table at Wednesday’s labour and mobility session. Chaired by Director of Labour and Employment Relations, Patricia Tuara Demmke, the Labour panel comprised Bredina Drollet (Secretary of Internal Affairs), Vasie Poila (Acting Principal Immigration Officer), John Webb (Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce), Owen Lewis (Director of the Cook Islands Technical Training Institute), Anthony Turua (President of the Cook Islands Workers’ Association), and David Lamotte (Director of the International Labour Office).
The Panel delved into the complexity of labour relations; its link to mobility and sustainable development. Some of the main points raised were the need to know and understand our labour market by identifying our skills needs, providing practical in country technical training, increasing and measuring productivity, and improving the working conditions of both Cook Islands and migrant workers.
New initiatives proposed included the collection of timely and accurate data on the labour market, industry led locally accredited technical training, the training of mediators to handle labour disputes, occupational safety and health inspectors, revision of employment regulations, exploring of new initiatives in immigration, and the sourcing workers from around the Pacific region.