KINGSTON, Jamaica — A Jamaican woman was on Friday sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison in Canada after she was found guilty of smuggling cocaine into that country.
Jacqueline O’Donahue, 30, was caught with 693 grams of cocaine strapped to her body at the Winnipeg Armstrong International Airport in Jan ...more »
TRADE unionist James Francis has criticised his colleagues on the board of the National Housing Trust (NHT) for failing to discuss the $45-billion transfer of funds to the Government over the next four years without seeking the approval of the workers.
"They should have brought the issue to the board of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) and the delegates before making any such commitment," said Francis, head of the United Union of Jamaica (UUJ), a member union of the JCTU.
"We have had meetings of the JCTU board and delegates since last week to discuss issues like the Heads of Agreement proposed by the Government, and at no time did any of these representatives raise the issue of this massive NHT contribution to the budget," he noted.
"This is not the first time I am objecting to the use of the NHT funds. I did so when PJ Patterson's Administration raided the funds to build Emancipation Park, and I have been doing so since and I won't stop, because I believe that it is wrong. The NHT was set up to provide housing for workers who cannot afford it, not to finance the budget," Francis insisted.
The angry trade unionist said that he felt that it was time the court be asked to decide whether people should not be charged for the misuse of the NHT contributions and the Education Tax.
"If the NHT was lying down on so much money all this time, why hasn't it tried to improve the chances of the working poor to obtain access to housing because they pay NHT contributions without much chance of getting a house," he said.
"I am calling on the workers to come out and protest against these actions because they are only going to make them poorer," he added.
Francis also stated that the decision of the Government to choose austerity over stimulus was a setback for the workers as it would mean that there would be no growth in the economy and their situation would continue to worsen.
The UUJ represents postal workers islandwide, as well as civilian ancillary workers employed by the police.
FRANCIS… this is not the first time I am objecting to the use of the NHT funds
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