The National Workers Union (NWU) has written to the management of Coconut Bay Resort, about working conditions at the property.
This follows an alleged investigation into the company’s operations by the Union. The General Secretary of the NWU says one of the issues of grave concern to the Union is transportation for workers and the security implications.
George Goddard says the workers have had terrible experiences on their way to and from work including being robbed at gunpoint, and as such the Union is pleading for the provision of transportation for staff.
“Some people have been attacked and robbed and it is very hazardous. Workers are crying out for some kind of solution to this issue. There have also been other issues for the workers, these are the workers are temporary, in terms of the payment …These issues we have written to the management of Coconut Bay on and we are hoping that they will take immediate steps to deal with these issues.”
General Secretary of the NWU, George Goddard
Organizers of Saint Lucia Jazz say they are more confident in the event now than ever.
Stakeholders have begun planning new ways of improving the event after recently hosting the 21st edition of Saint Lucia Jazz.
Over the years skeptics have suggested that the festival be renamed as not enough jazz music is incorporated in the festival.
But the Public Relations Manager of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board John Emmanuel says when looking at the overall production, jazz music remains at the heart of the festival.
Over and Over Saint Lucians are saying not enough Jazz into Saint Lucia Jazz. Some are saying perhaps we should change the name of the festival but yet we are saying when all of those Jazz activities are put on sometimes we find that Saint Lucians do shy away. So do they really want less Jazz in Saint Lucia Jazz and as you go through the varying communities be it Canaries Moon River, Babouneau, Laborie, wherever it is from Labowi Promotions Jazz in the South. So many of those acts feature real, cold hard Jazz.
Events for Saint Lucia Jazz 2012 ended last weekend with performances from renowned artistes such as Dianna Ross, Toni Braxton and local performers.
As a strategic move to improve Saint Lucia Jazz officials will also look to get more local artiste involved in the event and create links with the creative industry.
Former Chairman of the now defunct Saint Lucia Banana Corporation is calling for an end to the lip service regarding the Black Sigatoka disease and wants immediate and consistent action by authorities to deal with the disease.
Patrick Joseph says the disease which has taken a toll on the local banana industry does not only affect banana and plantain farmers but also affects the island’s food production.
“A lot people when they hear government say they are going to put 12 million dollars in the Banana Industry they say it’s the waste of tax payers money. But these are the people who never open their mouth about the millions of dollars that goes into the Tourism Industry… because you see the farmers don’t deserve the help of their own government. And some of the people saying that they were at the helm of agriculture, so you have wonder now why agriculture never gets anywhere, because government after government keep putting their people in charge and these people have no interest of the farmers that produce the foods that we eat in this country.”
The government of Saint Lucia is spending 12 million dollars in fighting the Black Sigatoka leaf spot disease.
So far banana and plantain farmers have been provided with inputs such as, fertilizers and oils which will help eradicate the Black Sigatoka disease.
However, the Minister for Agriculture remains adamant that his department’s strategy for effectively handling the Black Sigatoka fungus in the short term is the best approach at this time
Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste says this is the surest strategy to treat affected banana and plantain fields and provide a platform for increasing the production of banana by year end.
RISE Saint Lucia has released the findings of research conducted on the state of children’s rights in Saint Lucia.
The initiative which is part of the Road to Geneva project has been ongoing for the past two years. It involved trained youth researchers interviewing their peers between the ages of 11 and 17.
Director of RISE Doctor Jacqueline Bird says some of the results are concerning. Results show that 66 percent of youth say they drink alcohol and just over 1 in 4 youth report having access to illegal drugs.
The most negative results we have to date are associated off course with child abuse. Quite a significant amount of young people do not feel safe from sexual abuse every 1 in 10. One third 30 to 40 percent of young people are not clear that the government can do anything to help them about this or about any problem that they may have. A lot of youngsters don’t think that adults take young people seriously or listen to their views about youth issues.
There were also positive results from the research. Significant amounts of youth say they participate in clubs, sports and other social activities.
Youth also felt safe to express their beliefs and ideas. The research project was undertaken through collaboration with several non governmental organizations.
The Sandals Foundation is today donating nearly a thousand books to the Saint Lucia Crisis Center to assist with its after school program.
The Foundation hopes to foster a relationship with the Crisis Center which is an organization that works to eliminate all forms of abuse in society.
Chantal Antoine is the Public Relations Manager of the Sandals Foundation.
The Crisis Center as we know has been servicing Saint Lucia and the communities and the people of Saint Lucia for over 23 years with their mandate to eliminate and reduce all forms of abuse. The Sandals Foundation like the Crisis Center has a similar mandate to sustain good relationships with our community and to build our communities. So we thought it was a great relationship to foster and we are very happy to be working with the crisis center.
Public Relations Manager of the Sandals Foundation Chantal Antoine
The Kiwanis Club of Castries played host to a sister group from Pointe-à-Pitre Guadeloupe this week as part of efforts by the two groups to explore avenues for greater collaboration.
President of the Kiwanis Club of Castries Ermin Moise says most Kiwanis clubs are twinned with other cubs within their districts. This he says is inn an attempt to give clubs from various cultures an opportunity to learn about one another and is a practical means to form enduring friendships
The seven member team from Guadeloupe also presented the Castries club with a gift of one thousand Euro.
The group leaves the island for Barbados today Wednesday where they will meet with other clubs at the Kiwanis International Eastern Canada & Caribbean District Convention which runs from the 16th to the 19th May 2012
Local photographers are one step closer to establishing the Saint Lucia Association for Professional Photographers (SLAPP)
The body will represent the interest of photographers, safeguard their rights and provide them with the training needed to run a successful business.
Longstanding Saint Lucian Photographer Kirk Elliot says members are in the process of registering the Association with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Industries.
The Association is at the stage right now of having its constitution taken to the Ministry of Tourism. We are submitting the application there for registration of the Association. Objectives of the Association, one is going to be to bring photographers together under one unified umbrella so we have a unified position in terms of our mandate within the wider public.
The Association will also focus on educational opportunities for members in the form of workshops and lectures.
SLAPP membership is open to all professional photographers based in Saint Lucia.
The Saint Lucia Nurses Association has called on the relevant authorities to address the growing concern of security at health institutions.
Nurses for a long time have been clamoring for greater security. President of the Association Alicia Baptiste says nurses are sometimes abused by disturbed patients.
She has suggested that an armed police officer be stationed at various Health institutions.
Well definitely the security of nurses and other health practitioners also our patients are of great concern to us as an association. We have been dialoging with stakeholders from the Ministry of Health on issues, the Police but we still have the concern especially in the A&E department of Victoria Hospital where the nurses continue to experience abuse and sometimes patients want to become violent, some of them are violent.
Alicia Baptiste says the lack of proper security puts patients and other health care practitioners at risk.
The Castries Health Center and the Mental Wellness Center are all areas she believes should be heavily secured.
Meanwhile the Minister for Health Alvina Reynolds in her recent budget presentation promised to address the matter.
OECS Members States have been urged to seek the best possible solution to reduce growing prison populations.
The advice comes from Saint Lucia’s Minister for National Security Victor La Corbinere who also suggested the need for programmes that help reduce the number of entrants into the regions’ prison system.
The Minister also cited several social challenges that may be related to the increasing incarcerations throughout penal institutions such as domestic violence and unemployment among youth and a lack of effective skills development and rehabilitative programmes for inmates which can help them re integrate into the society.
Addressing a meeting on Prison Reform and Alternative Imprisonment in the OECS which opened on Tuesday morning, Minister La Corbiniere recommended a review of the physical component of prisons among the issues that can help enhance the state of the region’s prison systems.
Minister La Corbinare also suggested that there is a need for prison reform.
The Two –Day workshop is coordinated by the OECS Secretariat with support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the Coco Palm Resort at Rodney Bay Saint Lucia
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Philip J. Pierre leads a delegation to the 13th Inauguration Ceremony of the President and Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), scheduled for Sunday May 20, 2012, in Taipei.
President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party, KMT) was elected to a second term in office following Taiwan’s January 14, 2012 national elections.
The members of the delegation include , Hon. Philip J. Pierre, Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport and Parliamentary Representative for Castries East; Hon. Shawn Edward, Minister for Youth Development and Sports and Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North ,Hon. Dr. Robert Lewis, Minister for Education, Human Resource Development and Labour and Parliamentary Representative for Castries South and Hon. Alvina Reynolds, Minister for Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations and Parliamentary Representative for Babonneau.
The delegation leaves Saint Lucia on Wednesday May 16, 2012 and will return on Wednesday May 23, 2012.