Unions join to host Majority Rule Forum

MAJORITY RULE FORUM – The Coalition for Labour Northern Bahamas will host a forum on Majority Rule Day to address various union issues. Pictured from left are Rudolph Stubbs, former Executive of the Bahamas Customs Immigration Allied Workers Union; Quinton LaRoda, Fourth VP of the NCTUB; Tasha Hamilton, Vice President Bahamas Public Service Union Northern Region and Doyle Russell, union member. (PHOTO: ABRIA COOPER)

Under the theme, ‘The Value of the Worker’ union organizations in Grand Bahama will host a Majority Rule Day Forum on Thursday (January 10) at Christ the King Foster B. Pestaina Centre at 6:00 p.m. to discuss various issues.

The Coalition for Labour Northern Bahamas held a press conference on Tuesday (January 8) at the Bahamas Teachers Union Hall to give details about the upcoming event.

Fourth Vice President of the National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB) and Co-Chairman of the Majority Rule Forum, Quinton LaRoda explained that union members felt as if certain aspects of the labour movement’s impact on Majority Rule were not given enough emphasis in previous years.

“We decided about three weeks ago that we would have an activity to highlight the contribution of ‘Labour to Majority,’” said LaRoda.

He added that the forum will address labour issues of the past and the present.

Issues that will be addressed include the World Trade Organization and the country’s membership in it and how that will impact the nation’s future. The forum will also examine the role of the church in relation to civic organizations, workers’ rights as well as what the union can do to better help labour employees.

“We also want to look at some of the things that preceeded Majority Rule,” he said.

Such events include the General Strike of 1958, which occurred in support of 1957’s protests. The 16-day General Strike brought Nassau to a screeching halt. Unionized or not, just about every worker participated, and the strike was quite peaceful. The result was the Trade Union and Industrial Conciliation Act and the setting up of a Labour Department. The General Strike took place in January 1958.

Union member Doyle Russell expressed that there are many issues within the labour force.

Noting that one way to deal with these issues is to get more young adults involved in the unions, Russell took the opportunity to urge young people to attend the forum as well as other members of the public.

“It is an open forum and it’s a place where all of you can ask questions about your rights,” he added.

Russell noted that every members’ presence is needed to fight for the rights of many. “Make yourself available to the union.”

Vice President Bahamas Public Service Union Northern Region, Tasha Hamilton and former Executive of the Bahamas Customs Immigration Allied Workers Union (BCIAW), Rudolph Stubbs attended the press conference, lending their support to the upcoming event.

The forum is being held under the patronage of the Hon. Maurice Moore.

This year Majority Rule Day will be observed on Thursday, January 10.

Majority Rule Day became a public holiday in 2014. It commemorates The Bahamas gaining majority rule for the first time on January 10, 1967 which symbolized the promise of equality, a level playing field, and fair play for all Bahamians.

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