JAMAICA | Give the nation's workers and their trade unions the respect they deserve! - Senator Floyd Morris

JAMAICA | Give the nation's workers and their trade unions the respect they deserve! - Senator Floyd Morris

KINGSTON,Jamaica, May 23, 2022 - Peoples National Party Spokesman on Labour, Senator Dr. Floyd Morris, says as the nation celebrates another Labour Day, with the objective of “Re-igniting a Nation for Greatness, ” the Government must pay due respect to the workers in the public sector as well as their trade union representatives.

In his message to mark Labour Day, Senator Morris pointed out that "In paying due respect to these individuals and organizations, constant dialogue, with access to information, must be at the core of the process. 

"There will be no trust without dialogue and information and where there is no trust, we cannot have a great nation. Thus, as we celebrate Labour Day 2022, let us step back, with the aim of moving forward, in recognizing the rights and freedoms of our workers and trade unions and pay them the true respect they deserve," he said.

"Our nation stands on the shoulders of men and women who continue to work tirelessly for us to be great and they must be treated with respect and dignity," Senator Morris declared.

The following is the full text of Dr. Floyd Morris' Labour Day message:

Our nation proudly celebrates another Labour Day. We do so in the year of our country’s Diamond Jubilee, under the theme “Re-igniting a Nation for Greatness.” Indeed, we have a great country where our workers have played an indispensable role in its development. 

In 1938, our country embarked on a new trajectory and at the centre of this was our political parties and trade unions. Both institutions merged their efforts to advance the quality of life for all our citizens, with workers’ rights being at the centre of the efforts.

Since this new epoch, there have been a number of accomplishments for our workers. The establishment of the Labour Relations and Industrial Dispute Act (LRIDA); the Employment Termination and Redundancy Act (ETRA); Maternity Leave with Pay; Minimum Wage Act; Equal pay for women; the Flexible Work Arrangement and the Industrial Dispute Tribunal (IDT). All of these laws and institutions have been established to protect our workers and to assist in building a great nation.

But, this greatness can be eroded if we do not take care of the foundational principles that have guided the development of our modern labour movement. These principles have been buttressed on respect, fairness, consultation and equality. The recent situation in the labour market as it relates to public sector re-classification and compensation review, threatens to undermine and retard these principles. Workers and their trade unions cannot be conceived as passive contributors to the process, but must be seen as a preeminent part of the negotiating and bargaining process. 

This is why the Opposition and one of the primordial institutions of socialization that has been at the forefront of the championing of workers’ rights in Jamaica, the People’s National Party (PNP) is demanding that the Government pay due respect to the workers in the public sector and their trade union representatives. In paying the respect to these individuals and organizations, constant dialogue, with access to information, must be at the core of the process. 

There will be no trust without dialogue and information and where there is no trust, we cannot have a great nation. Thus, as we celebrate Labour Day 2022, let us step back, with the aim of moving forward, in recognizing the rights and freedoms of our workers and trade unions and pay them the true respect they deserve. Our nation stands on the shoulders of men and women who continue to work tirelessly for us to be great and they must be treated with respect and dignity. I wish for every worker, employer and trade union representative a happy and productive Labour Day.

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