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Labour minister commends household workers

Friday, October 06, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson has commended household helpers for their dedication and tireless service to their employers.

“Your work as caregivers, gardeners, nannies, cooks, handymen, and the list goes on, is indispensable to the running of Jamaica's economy. We salute you for your tireless and often overlooked work,” the minister said as she addressed the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Awards presentation ceremony held yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

“We cannot say thank you enough for the value that you offer. You are our unsung heroes. Because of you, we know that our children, our property and many aspects of our lives are in trusted hands,” the minister said.

Anthony Houston and Cherilene Williams-Case, who were crowned this year's male and female champions, respectively, walked away with $300,000 cash each from GraceKennedy; $30,000 from First Global Bank; food vouchers valued at $25,000 from Hi-Lo Food Stores as well as the Heather Little-White trophy.

The minister congratulated the winners for their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue in their pursuit of excellence.

She also lauded GraceKennedy for the initiative, which she said exemplifies its commitment to the social and economic advancement of Jamaica while recognising the positive contribution that these workers make within the household and, by extension, the wider society. Wehby said that household workers are among those unsung heroes who provide a support system for people to achieve their goals.

GraceKennedy will also be partnering with professional and vocational training institute, City and Guilds, to fund a portion of the cost of courses for the winners, with a contingency for an additional $100,000 to be used for incidental school-related expenses.

The male and female runners-up received $200,000 in cash each; $20,000 from First Global Bank and $15,000 in gift vouchers, while the remaining six nominees received $10,000 each from GraceKennedy and $10,000 in food vouchers.

A citation was also read and a gift presented to specially invited guest, former Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, in recognition of her many years of dedicated service and for her contribution to nation building in the areas of gender, labour and decent work.

Named in honour of the late Dr Heather Little-White, to recognise her years of service to the company and for training and encouraging household workers to improve their lives, the GraceKennedy/Heather Little White Household Worker of the Year Award was inaugurated in 2014 to recognise and reward Jamaica's household workers.