Saturday, March 2, 2024

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: A time to band together

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The following is the Christmas message from CTUSAB general secretary, Dennis De Peiza.

The Yuletide season is a festive time of the year. It is usually associated with joy and merriment. As a pre-Christian festival it is a time when families and members of the wider community focus on the religious aspects of the season.

Christmas time is traditionally associated with the receiving of and the giving of gifts. This Christmas many workers across the public and private sector, have had their joy eroded by the night mare of having been retrenched, laid off or severed from their employment.

As a caring community, it is important that we share a thought for those who were once employed but now find themselves unemployed, and for those who have been actively seeking employment without any success. The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados (CTUSAB) contends that the displacement of workers across the employment sectors of Barbados, could not have come at a more inopportune time. It is for this reason that the CTUSAB empathises with those workers and their families, whose Christmas celebration has been negatively impacted upon.

It is an indisputable fact that this Christmas, the lingering memories of the impact of the government’s retrenchment programme will rest on the psyche of remaining work colleagues. While declining worker morale is an emerging issue, the psychological doubts and fears which exist amongst workers who are left behind, is increasingly evident. They are left to struggle in a world of uncertainty regarding their job security.

The bearing of bad news of retrenchment, and the manner in which it may have been conveyed, would have done little to engender a spirit of good will in the hearts of the recipients. The pain, agony and suffering which affected workers have endured, cannot be overstated.

It is to be understood that these are challenging times for all Barbadians. Our nation is forced to struggle with the severity of both fiscal and economic woes, declining disposable income, excessive taxation measures, and growing inflation.

Against the backdrop of this gloom and doom, the recourse left to our workforce is to take solace in the teachings of Jesus Christ whose birthday we celebrate.

As a nation, we must continue to live in hope, and in doing so, have an abiding faith that there will be a better tomorrow.

CTUSAB looks toward the return of a stable economy which allows for displaced workers to readily access opportunities for employment.

Christmas is about goodwill. The first Christmas was about the hope of a nation, and an anticipated liberation from an armed occupying force. In fact, the birth of the Christ Child ushered in a new paradigm an example of humility of care and fortitude. The humble circumstances of a lowly birth did not detract from a royal entrance.

May all workers in this country experience the lessons which the first Christmas has felt for us, these are; the triumphs of the human spirit are adversity, a fulfilment of prophesy, care, compassion, and concern.

As we celebrate Christmas 2018, let us resolve to pay homage to the dignity of the human spirit, share of our possessions with those less fortunate, bind up the broken hearted and pour healing balm on the wounded spirit.

The Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados conveys its best wishes to the nation for this Christmas season.

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