#Article (Archive)

Trade Ministry holds forum on social dialogue

Dec 2, 2010, 11:59 AM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

The Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment in collaboration with ECOWAS on Tuesday held a one-day workshop on the Social Dialogue Forum.

The workshop held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Trade. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together the tripartite partners namely, government, employers and employees.

In his opening remark, Hon.Yusupha Kah, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, said the objective of the forum was to examine and adopt the plan of action for athe social dialogue forum.

Social Dialogue is a powerful tool that has helped solve difficult problems and foster social cohesion. It needs social partners that have the capacity and will to engage in the process responsibly, and the flexibility to adjust to contemporary circumstances, Minister Kah said, adding that the state has an important role to play in enabling and fostering all forms of social dialogue.

“The National Labour Act 2007 lays emphasis on the need to create an affirming environment in which the contributions of employers, workers and other groups are solicited and value,” he continued.

According to Minister Kah, the challenge for employers’ associations is helping their members to understand the dynamics of the emerging business environment, and to respond to growing expectations for a wide range of services.

“I am aware that some employers have not only been promoting and diffusing practices on human resources and industrial relations, but also sharing insights on successful restructuring of their companies to improve their public profile and promoting business networks,” said trade minister Kah.

Therefore, the resolve of employers’ organisations is to broaden their action and appeal to their membership, Minister Kah went on, and said that employer associations, therefore, will need to increase their capabilities to contribute to economic policy formulation on issues such as social security, education, trade and other services.

He says that some companies are now under greater pressure from community and consumer groups to demonstrate their social responsiveness. This, he continues, creates opportunities for employers’ organisations to advise their members, and to help them link up with both government and the international community on such issues.