Putting work into Labour Day in defiance of COVID-19

Putting work into Labour Day in defiance of COVID-19

Monday, May 25, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


It's testimony to the strength of the human spirit that even the worst health emergency of the last 100 years has not drowned out Mr Michael Manley's call of 48 years ago for Jamaicans to “put work into Labour Day”.

Social distancing and other restrictions aimed at preventing spread of the novel coronavirus mean today's Labour Day activities will be very different from any since the late former Jamaican prime minister outlined his nation-building vision of voluntary, community service back in 1972.

In the circumstances, we applaud advice from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Ms Olivia “Babsy” Grange for Jamaicans to use today to “clean up and fix up” their home and immediate environment under the theme 'Labour at Home'.

Says Ms Grange: “We want you to 'tan ah yuh yard' and work… and to do all the things that you would have wanted to do over the years but just never got around to doing… So you are going to clean up, you gonna plant up.”

Crucially, Ms Grange has placed the 'Labour at Home' project in the context of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially begins June 1, but which, in fact, has started already with Tropical Storm Arthur.

That relatively weak system which formed off the Florida coast just over a week ago brought rain and wind to sections of the US east coast before drifting out to sea.

No one can afford to ignore the warning from weather experts that this season will be very active.

We are told that forecasters expect 13-19 named storms, six to 10 of which could become hurricanes, and three to six of which could develop into major events with wind speeds well in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Jamaica and its sister Caribbean nations all looking forward to reopening their life-giving tourist industries locked down by COVID-19 will be hoping and praying.

Jamaicans are well aware of their good fortune in recent years, having not had a major brush with such a system since Tropical Storm Sandy caused one death and considerable damage in eastern parishes in October 2012.

In the circumstances, Ms Grange has given very sensible advice regarding today's activities: “You may want to see what is necessary to be done to your roof, to your windows, to your housetop…” she said.

All that aside, we note plans for small, 'social distanced' projects — both privately and publicly organised for today — among them the cleaning of statues of the nation's founding fathers at St William Grant Park in downtown Kingston. That, we are told, is this year's National Labour Day Project.

We are aware that across the country, mayors, custodes, and other leading citizens are heading small clean-up projects in their communities, subject to the prevailing safety protocols.

Commendation must also go to departments of the National Solid Waste Management Authority as well as private sector bodies such as Caribbean Cement Company Limited and Jamaica Pre-Mix Concrete Limited — all involved in cleaning and enhancement projects in communities, parks, etc.

To all those volunteering their time and labour today, we say, many thanks and keep safe.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT