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BITU women want protection of female workers stepped up

Monday, July 17, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Female delegates of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) want the union to step up activities promoting and protecting their rights as workers.

They voted in favour of a resolution moved by delegates from local telecom firm, FLOW, at the union's triennial general assembly on Saturday calling on the union to take steps to organise campaigns focused on the rights of women workers in all sectors.

They said that these steps should emphasise the growing role of women in these sectors and, through defined action, outline specific measures to protect them.

The women also called on the union to adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards every type of violence against women, “whether in the workplace or in society”.

They said that by doing these things the union would become “an active agent to spare future generations of women workers from a life of precarious work and gender violence”.

The resolution's preamble noted that:

The number of women in paid jobs globally, is currently the highest in history, with women account for 40 per cent of the world's paid workers;

Women workers represent 46 per cent of Jamaica's total workforce and 44 per cent of the recorded “currently employed” labour force;

Women workers are among the most vulnerable and are more frequently relegated to accepting part-time jobs, contract employment and temporary work, than their male counterparts;

Despite their patience with the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, their types of employment “are becoming more beset with difficulties and fraught with danger, affording no ease or reassurance to the workers”.

They also expressed concerns that, despite efforts made by Government, NGOs and the society in general to eliminate all forms of gender violence, the problems still exist and affect women in their workplaces.

Balford Henry

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