There are at least two often mocked and reviled institutions that come to the fore each time Caribbean societies face the annual challenges of our geography.
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ECA celebrates 54th anniversary
The Employers Consultative Association of T&T (ECA) celebrates its 54th anniversary today. It was established on February 16, 1960, to match the strength of the trade union movement and to advise employers on industrial relations matters toward improving the then prevailing state of affairs.
Over the years, the ECA developed a pivotal role in tripartism, facilitating smooth labour relations by representing employers at the national, regional and international levels and assisting in national development, formulating policies and shaping legislation. From its inception, the organisation has been consistent with the progression of labour and industrial relations in T&T and has developed a very close working relationship with various local bodies sharing an interest in labour matters.
The Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development and trade unions in particular are two bodies with which the ECA works very closely since its expertise and experience in the area of industrial relations are recognised by these groups. In fact, prior to 1965, the ECA and the T&T National Trade Union Congress attempted to voluntarily agree on an Industrial Relations Charter to help resolve industrial relations problems facing the country.
Today, the ECA functions in an educational, advisory, representative and regulative capacity with respect to employers’ interests. Industrial relations remains the mainstay of the organisation, however, the adoption of a proactive approach has enabled the association to not only provide guidance and/or consultancy in the areas of industrial relations and human resource management, but also occupational safety and health, HIV/AIDS etc.
The ECA also conducts various awareness building seminars/meetings on topical issues affecting employers. The ECA is a not-for-profit enterprise which operates on a membership based foundation. It primarily assists and supports employers in industrial relations matters. It has a growing membership and includes companies in all sectors.