In his annual message for the launch of Workers Week, Dr. Phillips said “Perhaps the most serious consequence that results from this practice by employers is that workers will reach pensionable age without pension, and could very well spend their last years in penury. We owe it to the workers to protect their rights.”
The Opposition Leader says “for over eight decades the annual celebration of Worker’s Week has provided the opportunity for us as a nation to appreciate the fundamental contribution of the labour force to Jamaica’s development.”
“The celebrations have also focused on the important milestones in the workers’ struggle to improve their quality of life which include the right of trade unions to organize, the maternity leave law, the eight hour day, equal pay for men and women and pension rights,” Dr. Phillips said.
The Peoples National Party President pointed out that the theme for this year’s Workers’ Week: “Child Safety....It’s you, it’s me, it’s all ah we”, takes on a special relevance, in that the country’s future “is inextricably linked to the fullest development of our children and the protection of their rights. These include the rights to safety, security, nurturing and education.”
Dr. Phillips advanced that “far too many of our children are victims of a dysfunctional home environment which contributes to the fact that more than 100 children go missing every month and just as many families struggle to cope with the crisis. Too many of our children are being abused and even brutally murdered for us not to recognize that it requires the mobilization of the entire nation for an emergency response.”
The Opposition Leader has proposed that“to deal with this crisis we will have to significantly expand our home-community intervention programmes, and encourage parents, guardians and the community at large reach out to the children with love and affection instead of threats and abuse.”
He noted that “we will have to encourage civil society to partner with the government in the development of projects that safeguard the health and safety of the nation’s children.
In addition, he said, “we will have to radically transform the present system of education and training by creating a learning environment from the earliest years that emphasizes cooperation and the building of bridges of friendship across lines of colour and class.”
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