KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition Spokesman on Labour and Social Security, Senator Dr Floyd Morris, is calling on the Government to get its supporters to stop the “labelling and demonisation” of public sector workers.
His comment follows industrial action by three government entities last week. Some 2000 National Water Commission workers, the island's air traffic controllers, and workers at the National Housing Trust had walked off the job to protest several issues including outstanding reclassification exercises and implementations of a job evaluation.
The workers have since received public backlash.
“I have noted a plethora of comments and attacks on public sector workers in social media, accusing them of acting under political directives in the latest strike actions across the country,” Morris said.
These comments and attacks, according to the senator “are untruthful, misleading and demonising of public sector workers who continue to sacrifice for the development of the country”.
He is instead advising the Government to restore some order to the labour relations environment by being more honest, transparent and forthright with the workers.
“This is what is needed to bring back trust to the collective bargaining process and ultimately, stability in the labour market,” he said.
“I have all the trust and confidence in the trade unions who are leading the collective bargaining process for the workers. These are professionals who have acted responsibly in the past and continue to do so in the present. These are men and women who assisted in the Stand-by Agreement and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2009 and 2013. They acted in the best interest of the country then and continue to do so today,” Dr Morris continued.
He further noted that public sector workers have been making sacrifices for the country and their union representatives must know when to tell them to act.
“When they are treated unfairly, unjustly, and being bullied by partisan supporters, this does not help the process and the Government must tell its supporters to desist from such backward and spurious attacks,” Dr Morris added.