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WORKERS’ WEEK 2021


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May 2021
 

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.

 

Above Body

 26 May 2021    communications   

The annual observation of Workers' Week signifies the importance of highlighting the historic contribution of the labour movement and workers’ rights to national development.

Our predecessors have struggled, endured and fought hard-won battles to ensure every Jamaican can enjoy greater bargaining rights, improved working conditions and a more harmonious working relationship between workers and employers. 

Today, our workforce is guaranteed more rights and privileges because of the heroism, foresight and dedication of our forebears. Now, Jamaica has more labour laws to protect the rights of our workers and we no longer have rampant civil unrest in our society caused by labour disputes. Indeed, Jamaica’s labour relations environment has been built on respect and the rule of law which acknowledges the rights of workers and employers.

I acknowledge the tremendous work that has been done in creating an enabling environment for the realization of our ‘Decent Work Agenda’ and the protection of workers’ rights, including that of our nation’s children. Indeed, stalwarts such as Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley, St William Grant, Hugh Shearer and Dwight Nelson among other outstanding labour movement leaders, have played an integral role in transforming the labour movement, so we can now have a better country in which to live and work. 

As we mark Workers’ Week 2021, under the theme, “Safeguarding Our Labour Force Amid COVID-19’, I salute all our workers; they have played a significant role in the socioeconomic development of our great country and especially now, where our essential workers have shown great commitment and resilience. We thank them.

Undoubtedly, the impact of the global pandemic has been devastating and has impacted our productivity. Both the public and private sectors have had to adjust operations to observe COVID-19 protocols and the measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which include working-from-home, working virtually and working under more flexible and accommodating arrangements. 

In that regard, as we evolve the way in which we operate, let us also work as efficiently and as innovatively as we can, to return to full productive capacity so our economy may rebound faster and more robustly. 

Speaking of work, this Labour Day we must once again labour at home. While it is customary to celebrate Labour Day communally, we are still not able to do so as yet. Let us therefore direct our energies to cleaning up and beautifying our immediate space as we celebrate Labour Day under the theme “Stay at Home, Stay Safe, Clean Up Yuh Space.”

I thank all workers who continue to make strides in their fields of work for the betterment of our families and for Jamaica land we love.

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