Erroneous, misleading, and simply not true.
Employment Minister Tara Rivers is biting back at the Chamber of Commerce. At issue: comments made at the business lobby group’s annual general meeting. She told Cayman 27 the statements mischaracterise her ministry’s engagement with the chamber on the labour relations bill and other employment programmes.
“The fact is, the level of engagement that the chamber is claiming isn’t there on the part of the ministry really is not the case,” said Minister Rivers, who told Cayman 27 it’s time to clear the air after a bevvy of what she called “innacuracies” were presented at last month’s chamber annual general meeting.
“Some very strong but misleading information was put forth with respect to the status of the labour relations bill, the status of my alleged unwillingness to engage, and of course the fact that the chamber claimed to not be involved in trying to develop these throughout the work ready programme in particular ready-to-work.ky,” said Ms. Rivers.
She told Cayman 27 the chamber’s immediate past president Barry Bodden missed the mark on her level of engagement, and the status of the labour relations bill.
“The fact is the chamber, though the CEO was aware that the bill had not gone to cabinet or did not come to caucus,” said Minister Rivers. “That information was still put out with an impression that the government had no intention to engage with the chamber going forward, and that is simply not true.”
She told Cayman 27 she’s worked to engage the business lobby on a number of labour-related initiatives, beginning in January of 2014.
She said the chamber is welcome to take their seat at the table with other stakeholders, but can’t expect to dictate the process.
“We certainly are not prepared to let one individual stakeholder dictate and run the show, because we as the elected officials we answer to the people that we were elected to serve,” said Ms. Rivers.
She hopes the two parties can move forward and work productively together in the future.
“I’m still willing and able to participate in a true partnership with the chamber. However it’s difficult to have a partnership if you’re not willing, if one party or another is not willing to accept responsibility when they’re wrong,” she said.
We reached out to the Chamber of Commerce for its reaction…
Chamber CEO wil pineau said the group will wait until its executive council meets Tuesday (09 February) night to decide whether to issue a reaction to Minister Rivers.
He told Cayman 27 he doesn’t think the dust-up will jeopardise new chamber president Paul Pearson’s role on the ready-to-work.ky task force.