Caribbean Workers’ Forum II (2021)


The second Caribbean Workers’ Forum (CWF II) will evaluate the challenges presented by the COVID 19 pandemic and will be held online with the theme: “Reimagining the New Normal”. The Conference will take place from the 15th to 18th September 2021 and will target practitioners, activists, and academics in Labour Studies and associated fields. It will also target workers’ institutions such as trade unions, cooperatives and credit unions.

In 2019 the global community was faced with the challenge of managing the outbreak of COVID 19 which quickly escalated to a global pandemic. Governments implemented public heath orders and varying strategies to mitigate spread of the virus. The imposition of self-quarantine through the stay at home directives gave rise to, among other things, several questions about infringements of fundamental right as citizens.

While the scenario obviously required an immediate response, the subsequent suspension of rights invariably had a disproportionate negative impact on the most vulnerable in society. Moreover, with businesses being asked to shut their doors, there were multiple infringements on workers’ rights.

As part of the road to recovery, discussions on post the COVID world are being guided by the theme “The New Normal”. This conference will evaluate the multiple manifestations of this theme and contemplate the nature of a post COVID world which is being constructed and the implications for workers’ and workers organisations.


The objective of this Conference is to contribute to evidence-based debate on these issues and their manifestation. It is expected that the conference will add to the debate on the post COVID world and provide a research based assessment of the extent of the potential for a paradigm shift in the “New Normal”.

It is into this space that Cipriani College, with its partners, is seeking to bring its credibility as an institution that was established to empower workers and to ensure that they have a stake in Caribbean development.

Objectives of the Conference

The specific objectives are:

  1. To engage in a process of capacity building among workers and their representatives and organisations as they face a myriad of challenges, well exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. To develop new models of action based on evidence-based and data-driven development objectives for workers and their institutions.
  3. To advance the use of social dialogue among  workers and their institutions, the private sector, government, academics, and other stakeholders in the search for solutions, based on fairness, equity and social justice, to the pressing issues facing Caribbean workers and society.
  4. To use the independent and rigorous inquiry to support workers, their institutions and other stakeholders.
  5. To contribute to increased awareness of the importance of social protection; deficiencies in regional social protection systems and to build dialogue on policies and actions that could be taken to close these deficiencies.