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JAMAICA | PNP warns gov't not to repeat cruise ship saga when other vessels arrive

  • Written by Calvin G Brown - wiredja.com
  • Published in local news
Mr. Fitz Jackson, M.P., Shadow Minister of National Security Mr. Fitz Jackson, M.P., Shadow Minister of National Security
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, May 23, 2020:  -  Shadow Minister of National Security, MP Mr. Fitz Jackson, is cautioning the government that the lack of proper planning, gross mismanagement and high levels of distress which dogged the return of Jamaican cruise workers on both the Marcella Discovery 2 and Adventure of the Seas must not be repeated as some nine hundred (900) additional Jamaican seafarers are expected to return to Jamaica shortly.

Mr. Jackson said reports in the international press that colleagues of our Jamaican ship workers at sea committed suicide jumping from the ships largely because of the uncertainty of return to their respective homeland, could have a devastating and lasting toll on our own Jamaican ship workers in an environment of indecision.

He said the experience thus far has led to high levels of frustration and distress among the cruise workers on both the Marella 2 Discovery and the Adventure of the Seas, which continues it disembarking of the 1044 workers in Trelawny.    

The PNP’s Shadow Minister says the Prime Minister Andrew Holness-led administration’s failure to put in place the necessary arrangements to receive our citizens on these vessels,  despite being aware of their impending arrival in advance, speaks to a gross incompetence, dereliction of duty and lack of empathy and compassion.

This government’s slowness in response, Mr Jackson said, is even more puzzling because the Opposition presented the very ideas of managing the situation which was ultimately implemented. The Opposition continues to assert that the government must take advantage of the available expertise on planning, logistics and crisis management that reside in the private sector, the military and elsewhere. 

We do not have to always reinvent the wheel to resolve these COVID-19 related issues. There are examples throughout the region on how to handle these cruise ship workers because the said vessels have been delivering crew members to various ports all over the Caribbean. The adoption of best practice is always an efficient use of time and resources especially in times of crisis.

“Jamaica cannot afford a continuation of the indecisive approach and constant dithering which were on display as the government dilly-dallied with the lives of the Jamaica ship workers as the vessels languished on the seas. No other Jamaican should be subjected to this kind of trauma and feeling of rejection by their own country. The Opposition will not relent in its defence of our fellow Jamaicans, who are simply trying to get home in a time of global crisis to be with their families and loved ones,” Mr Jackson said.

The Shadow Minister said the PNP would be closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the rights of all Jamaicans are not infringed and that the government stands by its responsibilities and duties, dictated by the Constitution of the land.

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  • Countries: Jamaica