PNP calls for establishment of industrial council to protect security guards

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Opposition People’s National Party is calling on the Minister of Labour & Social Security Karl Samuda to immediately establish the Joint Industrial Council for Industrial Security and ensure that all stakeholders are at the table with an opportunity to determine the industry’s future.

In a statement Wednesday, Opposition spokesperson on Labour and Social Security, Dr Angela Brown Burke also asked the security companies to halt any demand for the guards to sign new contracts until urgent discussions with the tripartite Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) were held.

The LAC consists of employers’ representatives, including industrial security companies, trade union representatives and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

Dr Brown Burke said the Opposition was aware that the LAC, which was established after the ruling of Supreme Court Judge Justice Batts last year September, had already reported to Cabinet. She said Cabinet should, therefore, act with speed to protect the rights of security guards and ensure fair treatment as prescribed by law.

She emphasised that the Opposition sees the unilateral action by security companies to impose new conditions on the guards as not acting in good faith.

Dr Brown-Burke says she is urging all 27,000 security guards not to be bullied into signing these new contracts that deprive them of benefits guaranteed under law.

“It’s time the government acts in the interest of workers without forcing Jamaicans to take to the streets to defend their rights,” Dr Brown Burke said.

“It is also important that government end the delays and move swiftly to reduce tension and uncertainty amongst security guards,” she added.

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