Phillips praises workers for contribution to national development

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Leader of the People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips says Labour Day 2018 provides an opportunity for the country to recognise and celebrate the tremendous contribution of the workers of Jamaica to national development.

“It is an established fact that the workers and their trade unions led the drive for Jamaicans to get a liveable wage and to establish the basic principles of collective bargaining that over the years have secured benefits that include pension rights, leave with pay; protection against wrongful dismissal,” Phillips said in a release today.

He stressed that Jamaica must never forget the drive in the 1970s to secure maternity leave with pay; equal pay for women; and redundancy pay, among other rights.

The opposition leader said the country must continue to insist that public sector pension and the national minimum wage keep apace with the rise in the real cost of living facing workers.

According to Phillips, the designation of workers as 'independent contractors', which is gaining traction in some industries, is a device to deny workers, especially security guards, their right to collective bargaining and benefits.

In spite of the recent moves to deny workers, Phillips said the nation must do all that is necessary to protect the gains that have been won for the ordinary Jamaican working people.

In recognising this year's focus on improving access to members of the disabled community, Phillips heaps praises on Senator Dr Floyd Morris, whose advocacy secured the focus of this year's Labour Day activities on the needs of the disabled community.

“Let us take this opportunity to salute each and every Jamaican who is going out to work in one of the many Labour Day projects organised in their communities.”

Labour Day is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 23.

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