News Stories - July 11th, 2011
Last Updated Monday, July 11, 2011 8:08 PM

  Record unemployment
Story by Sarah Peter

Over seventeen thousand people are presently unemployed in St. Lucia. Nine thousand and more of those are young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty nine.

The sobering numbers come from Director of Statistics, Edwin St. Catherine. He is speaking in the wake of expressed concerns from that same demographic including university graduates over a lack of jobs on the island.


St. Catherine also pointed out that an unprecedented number of people will soon be joining the labor force.
And that in the recent past - more and graduates have been leaving secondary and tertiary level institutions.
The Statistics Director says there needs to be an effort to create opportunities for them. The Director of Statistics says the island’s unemployment rate in 2006/2007 was 14 percent. St Catherine indicated it had increased significantly over the years and currently stands at 21 percent.

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  Missing boy
Story by Carmy Joseph

The family of 18 year old Kramer A. Descartes needs your help to locate him. Descartes graduated from the Saint Mary’s College and last attended the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. His father – who has made numerous reports to the Micoud Police Station about his missing son – says he last saw him on June 11th. Descartes is brown skinned and 5 ft 6 inches tall. His father says he has no idea where his son might be although he admits they had a disagreement before he fled his Mon Repos home.


Anyone with information about the whereabouts of 18 year old Kramer A Descartes is asked to contact the Micoud Police station.

  -Implement labour code
Story by Sarah Peter

General Secretary of the St. Lucia Trade Union Federation, Wayne Cumberbatch says that workers sadly continue to be unfairly dismissed in the country. He cited the recent KFC incident, where several workers were left on the bread line as a result of the sudden closure of the fast food establishment. He also alleges that a company in Vieux Fort recently summarily dismissed workers for no discernible reason.


Cumberbatch says it is time to put an end to these unfair practices. The Labour code document has gone through parliament but has not been implemented on the island. Cumberbatch says that it is about time that the law be put into practice to stop employers who take advantage of their workers.

The Labour Code Amendment Bill was presented in Parliament on Tuesday February 15 2011, Parliament approved the amendments made to the Labour Code, and however the document has not yet been enacted. 
Cumberbatch stressed the importance of the Labour Code and has called on the Minister to make good on his promise.

The original Labour code was passed in 2006 by then the Dr. Kenny Anthony led St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) regime. However, the Stephenson King administration criticized the legislation. The new administration soon amended the code but has not implemented the changes. The purpose of the document is to bring about the necessary legislation relating to Labour and industrial relations in Saint Lucia in a consolidated way that is sensitive to existing local practices, without compromising existing International Labour Standards.

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  -Didier Nicholas is queen
Story by Sarah Peter

All hail the queen, Ms Digicel Roxanne Didier Nicholas. The 2011 National Carnival Queen defeated seven other contestants to win the coveted crown. The 19 year old also won the most outstanding talent, best swimwear, best Interview and best in evening wear. The only other top prize awarded by the judges went to Ms. Castries Community, Nicole St Croix for best costume. The event was held on Saturday from 8pm at the National Cultural Center.


First Runner Up was Ms Consuelo Dupal, Miss Super J IGA. Miss Cultural Community Tarra Edward was second runner up followed by third runner up Ms Castries Community Nicole St. Croix.

The other top prizes namely Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality, went to Ms St. Lucia Metals and Plastic Trudy Mathurin and Ms LUCELEC Sherry Etienne respectively. The annual National Carnival Queen Pageant was presented by the National Carnival Queen Committee and the Saint Lucia Carnival Stakeholders Committee of the Cultural Development Foundation.

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  -Just us kids wins junior title
Story by Sarah Peter

Just Us Kids portraying “The People who came Book One” won the 2011 Junior Carnival Band of the year title.
They were followed by last year’s Junior Band of the Year Dynamic Kids who portrayed “Parade Tomas”. Rituals portraying Glory of the Ganges came in third followed by Charmalion portraying “Spirits.” The fifth placed band was Saint Lucian Spirits portraying “Garden of Colours.” Band Leader of the newly crowned Junior Carnival Band of the year - Barry George was elated at his band’s victory.


The Rituals Junior Band captured both the Junior King and Queen titles – the Junior King is Jaheel Caulderon carrying “The Warrior Prince” while Queen was Tiyana Foster carrying “The Bhangra Dancer.” Second place in the Junior King went to Leroy Mitchell from the Just Us Kids Carnival band portraying “Colonization” – he was followed in third place by Jordan Augustin of Dynamic Kids portraying “Power Boy.”

Charmalion came in fourth with “Remnants of an old oak tree” carried by Daleel Hollingsworth. Second place in the Junior Queen of the Bands went to Jada Francis from Dynamic Kids portraying “Rise of Fair Helen” followed by Shartoya Jn Baptiste of Just Us Kids portraying “Queen Isabella’s Quest” and in fourth place was Akina Randolph also of Just Us Kids portraying “Slavery reigns in Africa.” The Junior Carnival Parade started from Euralis Booty Sports Complex and Vigie Sports Complex.

  -Dress to impress
Story by Sarah Peter

La Boutique Jennais is a new initiative aimed at assisting trainees under the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP). The Project provides training in various areas to help develop young people in the field of work.

Project Coordinator from the NSDC- John Victorin describes the CYEP program as a unique project in terms of its development of young people.


The Dress to impress initiative was conceptualized between three youth empowerment bodies namely RISE St. Lucia, the National Skills Development Center (NSDC) and the Center for Adolescent Renewal and Education (CARE). The three organizations are also providing two hundred and fifty young persons with the opportunity to receive the life skills training taught by the program. RISE St. Lucia Office Manager- Gemma Moses says the new initiative will ensure participants are dressed to impress.

The official launch of La Boutique Jennais was held on Monday at the office of RISE St. Lucia Inc at Gablewoods Mall. A call went out from officials of RISE St. Lucia Inc., NSDC and CARE encouraging interested people to continue donating clothing, shoes, bags and other male and female accessories to the cause.

  -Lester Arnold on roads
Story by Sant Justin

Months after the passage of Hurricane Tomas- road works and rehabilitation aimed at restoring the country to normalcy continues. But in the midst of the restoration process- the Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Communication and Works says some areas still remain either untouched or in need. Lester Arnold says the Ministry is aware of some of these locations and is in the process of addressing them.


Meanwhile- the Chief Engineer also appealed to members of the general public to do their part by ensuring their surroundings remain tidy. This he says would also assist in a steady flow of water during rain.

With the rainy season already upon us- NEMO along with the Ministry of Communication and Works continue to encourage the general public to remain conscious about changing weather patterns. Hurricane Tomas dealt a surprising and deadly blow to the island in October 2010- one that continues to be felt throughout the island.

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  -EC global seminar
Story by Andrew Mondesir

Emerging out of the hurricane Tomas experience, both insurers and the insured learnt valuable and in some cases, rather costly lessons about adequate insurance coverage. One of the most common problems is a misunderstanding of what a client’s policy actually covers, as opposed to what they think it does. EC Global Insurance wants to start a national conversation, which would not only assist the insurance industry, but also help clients avoid some of the life-changing hurricane Tomas


incidents, which will remain in our collective memories long after recovery efforts have ceased. The seminar on protecting property from natural disasters coincides with the hurricane season, which officially started June 1st. Homeowners were grateful for the information provided by EC Global Insurance, Caribbean Metals Limited and Bank of Saint Lucia. The EC Global Insurance seminar on protecting property against hurricanes took place at the NIC Conference Centre Thursday evening.

  -Monroe higher education
Story by Sant Justin

The week of 11th to 15th July has been dubbed Higher Education Week by the St Lucia campus of Monroe College. Its purpose is to place more focus on the value and importance of higher education. Jerry George of the College’s Outreach Department says the campus sought the expertise of its staff to facilitate consultations at the Castries Central Library. George says it is the Campus’ hope to arrive at solutions through the five day discussions.


He says although they are targeted at people leaving work in the evening- the general public is also invited. George says Wednesday is very important- because Monroe will seek to deal with ways of accessing scholarships and grants to finance higher education. The speaker for the evening will represent Education USA- and outreach of the US Embassy.

  Record unemployment
  Missing boy
  Implement labour code
  Didier Nicholas is queen
  Just us kids wins junior title
  Dress to impress
  Lester Arnold on roads
  EC global seminar
  Monroe higher education

The Trade Union Federation has called on Labour Minister Edmund Estephane to implement the Labour Code. Although made into law towards the end of 2006 by the previous SLP administration –the Labour Code remains on the books but not in practice. The present government vowed to amend it as they did it when it again passed in the House February of this year. The TUF says despite these two victories – employees remain at the mercy of employers who can fire them at will or close operations without notice – because the Code has not been implemented.

Would the implementation of the Labour Code really protect employees as suggested by the Trade Union Federation?

I don't know
I don't care
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