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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Lutron employees urged to increase level of performance to benefit from upturn in United States economy

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 11TH 2006 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Sustainable Development, the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has called on employees in the light manufacturing sector to increase the level of their performance to reap the benefits of the upturn in the United States economy.

Delivering the Feature Address at the opening of Quality Awareness Week at Lutron Liamuiga – assemblers of lighting controls - Prime Minister Douglas noted the relation of the global outlook led by the industrialised and developed countries impact on the domestic economy.

Lutron products are installed worldwide including the White House, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the headquarters of Johnson & Johnson and AT&T in the United States, the Taj Mahal in India and international celebrities including Eddie Murphy and President George W. Bush.

Besides St. Kitts, Lutron has two plants in the United States and one each in Puerto Rico and China.Dr. Douglas pointed out that from all the statistics available there is going to be an improvement in the economies of those countries and therefore there would be some effect the local St. Kitts and Nevis economy.

He said that globalisation has brought significant challenges to the manufacturing companies and as the competition escalates with new manufacturing giants making their mark in the arena of global trade it is not surprising that companies would want to respond by paying more attention to matters of efficiency, the quality of products and services, as well as customer satisfaction.

“These issues are critical as companies attempt to gain competitive advantages, and it is particularly essential for companies operating in the Caribbean region to do so.”Prime Minister Douglas emphasised that “high value products matched with high quality and reliability in service are all substantial selling points for Caribbean operations, and it is important that we sustain such an edge here in St. Kitts and Nevis and in the Caribbean region.”

He reminded the 300 Lutron employees and management staff assembled that the small labour force in St. Kitts and Nevis “enjoys the benefits of legal and conventional industrial relations.

“We may not necessarily be the most competitive in terms of labour costs, but I wish to emphasise at the same time, that we are an educated people and I am sure that every single one of you here has had the opportunity to enter into a secondary school. You are relying therefore on your intelligence, the skills that you have acquired so that you can compete in terms of the quality of the product that comes from this company and goes all over the world,” said the Prime Minister.Dr. Douglas noted that as training and education continue to play significant roles in gaining that competitive edge in manufacturing, it is also important that “Best Practices” are employed as a means of sustaining levels of high efficiency, high levels of high motivation among staff, and in keeping and expanding one’s customer base.

He said there has to be a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employees, and problems that may arise are dealt with through dialogue in an atmosphere and an environment of mutual respect in a timely manner.

“It is important, therefore, that employees are productive and you carry with you a sense of discipline in your own work, that management is also fair and courteous, and promote an environment that enhances productivity, which is one of the essential requirements of your management,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader also hoped that the emerging telecommunications environment in the Caribbean would enhance associated cost structures and ultimately assist in the long-term sustainability of light-manufacturing in St. Kitts and Nevis and in the wider Caribbean region.

The ceremony, chaired by John Williams, was also attended by Lutron representatives from overseas and officials of Cable & Wireless, Rams Group of Companies and TDC.

Copyright © 2005 By The Government Of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) & Nevis

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