PRIME Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is committed to protecting the rights of workers whose sacrifices have resulted in the economic growth now being experienced.
Speaking at the launch of Workers’ Week and Labour Day 2019 activities at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday, he emphasised that this and other safeguards are important in preserving Jamaica’s fragile recovery, “as the economy gets stronger and more robust”.
Holness, who noted that the economy is improving, as evidenced by record high employment and low unemployment, said for this to continue, “we must ensure that our businesses can grow and have the confidence to employ”.
He added: “At the same time, we must ensure that our workers are satisfied in their employment and that labour is properly rewarded.”
He praised workers’ unions for being “very progressive” over the last 30 years, and advised that they should always seek to utilise the mechanism developed for resolving conflicts, “because any action outside of that could easily destabilise the very tenuous and fragile recovery of our economy”.
Workers’ Week activities begin on Sunday, May 19 with a National Thanksgiving Service at the Meadowbrook United Church in Kingston.
A wreath-laying ceremony, in commemoration of the 1938 labour riots will follow on Monday, May 20, starting at 10:00 am at the Aggie Bernard Monument at the Kingston Craft Market.
There will be an awards banquet to commemorate the centenary of the International Labour Organisation and the Trade Union Act in Jamaica on Wednesday, May 22, starting at 7:00 pm at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
On Thursday, May 23, there will be a floral tribute commemorating the date on which National Hero Sam Sharpe was martyred, starting at 7:30 am at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay, St James; and at 8:00 am at National Heroes Park in Kingston.
The week of activities will culminate later that evening with the National Labour Day Concert, starting at 6:00 pm at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
Workers’ Week is being observed under the theme ‘Yes to decent work; no to child labour’.