Chamber and Trade Unions appear happy on the progress of the OSH Bill
The Occupational Safety and Health Bill has been ventilated since 2014 and the proposed law has been under scrutiny by the trade unions and the business community for much of that time. As we’ve reported, the two sides seem to be comfortable or mostly agree with much of the revised language and the spirit of the legislation. We asked Business Senator Kevin Herrera for his reaction to the progress that has been made on this front.
Kevin Herrera, Senator for Business Sector: “The process is really coming to an end now and I think one of the positives is similar to what we had done in 2005. Unions, business community coming together to work something out similarly here. I think that the unions and I think the Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been working closely together in terms of the contents of the OSH Bill and so I think that’s certainly positive. My understanding is that they have been working it through and they’ve been making a lot of progress and so I think that’s always a good thing because you know whenever these types of things come up I mean you have two sides. You have a labour that you know is looking at it from one perspective and you have companies that are looking at it from one perspective and I think that the more we can bridge those before it really reaches the legislation stage I think the better it is because the intention again is not to take anybody out or to adversely affect anybody in any significant way it’s really to find something that can work for the majority.”
But because the process of revising and revamping the original verbiage to arrive at tenets they agree with has taken about eight years, we queried whether it had to go on for all that time.
Reporter: Did it really need to take that long to get to this point ?
Kevin Herrera, Senator for Business Sector: “Well you certainly have to ask them but I think that remember whenever you – democracy is a tedious thing and so whenever you’re trying to get buy in from all parties and you’re trying to get agreement it’s not always something that happens you know over night and so sometimes you just have to continue grinding away at it and dealing with the issues until you get it resolved. I mean I certainly think that it’s a better process than trying to ram things down people’s throats that may have significant consequences. And so even though it has been a little tedious, even though it has taken some time I still think that this is the preferred approach where you can get those two parties together or those two sides together to work out these issues.”