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Holness, trade unions welcome Obama victory

Friday, November 09, 2012    

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OPPOSITION Leader Andrew Holness joined Jamaican trade unionists yesterday in congratulating United States President Barack Obama on winning Tuesday's presidential election.

Holness said that Obama brought together a coalition of different demographic groups to push his return to the White House.

"His campaign was disciplined and steady, and his defence of his policies [were] firm and confident. I congratulate him on what is an historic victory," Holness said yesterday.

He said that Obama now has the challenge of continuing the recovery of the American economy and securing greater reduction in the unemployment rate. He also asserted that without a strong US recovery the Jamaican economy could continue to see anaemic growth.

Head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute Danny Roberts, meanwhile, said that Obama's victory was very important in demonstrating how a clinical and scientific election campaign is conducted.

"I don't expect anything significant for Jamaica or the Caribbean region, because I expect that domestic issues will dominate his presidency and, and he will be obliged to introduce policies which will focus on the American economy, such as job creation," Roberts said. "However, he is more sympathetic to the cause of developing countries than Romney, and he was on a path of recovery which would have been turned around by a Romney victory."

President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) Senator Kavan Gayle said that Obama's victory was more evidence of how valuable the support of the workers is in creating a formidable and unbeatable coalition.

"Obama deserved the workers' support because of his efforts to protect the jobs of American workers, especially those in the motor vehicle industry, and workers have always shown gratitude to leaders who have served in their best interest," Senator Gayle said.

Former General Secretary of the National Workers Union (NWU) Senator Navel Clarke said he, too, was very happy and very excited about the victory.

He said that although he did not expect much benefit for the Caribbean region from Obama's re-election, a turn around in the US economy is essential and would be of tremendous benefit to the region, and he felt that Obama was best placed to lead the US economic revival.

Chairman of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Union's public sector committee, Keith Comrie, said that the confederation welcomed the victory, although there are aspects of Obama's policy with which its members disagree.

"But, we believe he will be more sympathetic to the problems facing the Caribbean region. We expect improvements in the relationship between the United States and countries in the region, and I hope that he will see to the removal of the trade embargo against Cuba during his second term," Comrie said.

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