PANCAP News-in the caribbean

Trade unions advocate for rights of HIV/AIDS workers

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – President of the Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL), Senator David Massiah is urging trade unions to lead the fight against discrimination and stigma associated with people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

“We think it is a problem that you have to look at and address early, sensitise the people as a matter of prevention so it doesn’t become a pandemic, where people begin to discriminate,” Massiah said.

Massiah acknowledged that although trade unions in Antigua & Barbuda have initiated the process in the past, continuity has been an issue.

“ I think what we have been doing might have been a bit too slow. I think we need to beat the iron even harder for it to press home the advantage of information and knowledge,” he noted.

The CCL and its member organisations participated in the two-day “Regional Workshop on Capacity Building for Workers’ Organizations on HIV and AIDS and the World of Work” that began yesterday at the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa.

The workshop seeks to advocate for workers rights for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The group urges members to be vocal in lobbying for increased government legislation in matters of discrimination and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean.

Stakeholders from various trade unions throughout the Caribbean, including Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, Suriname, Grenada, Bahamas, Belize, St Lucia and St Kitts & Nevis participated in the workshop.

The sessions are being hosted in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean.