2016 Labour Day Message [Leader of the Opposition]

Photo: JIS Photographer Leader of the Opposition, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, O.N, M.P

Story Highlights

  • It is also a time when we reflect on Jamaica’s proud history of struggle and the triumph of our workers and their representatives.
  • When our living spaces and surroundings encourage unhealthy agents such as mosquitoes, there is great danger to health and safety, especially for vulnerable groups.
  • Let us combine our efforts this Labour Day 2016 to make every nook and cranny of Jamaica healthy clean and nice.

My fellow Jamaicans;

Labour Day signals the end of Workers’ Week, in which the nation pays tribute to all our workers.

It is also a time when we reflect on Jamaica’s proud history of struggle and the triumph of our workers and their representatives.

We celebrate the pioneering efforts of the early stalwarts and leaders of the Trade Union Movement.

We salute their role in defending the rights and interests of the workers of Jamaica. Today, we recall their struggles from the 1930s.

Their widespread labour protests resulted in the legal recognition of trade unions. They laid the groundwork for the right to collective bargaining and the other economic and social advances enjoyed by our workers today.

Both Workers’ Week and Labour Day provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of Jamaican workers over many centuries.

They have been instrumental in building the strong foundations for a better Jamaica.

We salute our workers in all areas of national life. In:

• Education
• Agriculture
• Sanitation
• Household Helpers and Gardeners
• The Health Sector
• Hospitality and Tourism,
• Sports
• The Arts
• The Public Sector
• The Security Services
• Industry and Commerce
• Finance
• Transportation
• Manufacturing
• Mining
• The booming Business Process Outsourcing industry
• And all other areas.

Their diligent work and accomplishments contribute greatly to the growth and development of Jamaica.

Recognizing the importance of individual and collective effort to national development, the Most Honourable Michael Manley in the 1970s led the nation in a campaign to put work into Labour Day.

He believed then as I do today that when we come together we can build strong communities and a better Jamaica for all.

Over the years since then, Jamaicans from all walks of life have turned out in large numbers on Labour Day to work as volunteers in their communities.

Many children’s homes, parks, schools, hospitals, health centers, police and fire stations, as well as other facilities, have benefitted from voluntary work on Labour Day.

I use this opportunity to commend all those who volunteer their time, talents and other resources to improve their communities and their country on Labour Day.

I encourage others to join in giving back to our communities and country through voluntary service.

This year, Labour Day is being observed under the theme: ‘For Health’s Sake, Keep it Clean’.

The theme, is a call to action.

It is a call for all citizens to work together to ensure that we safe- guard the health of our families, communities and country.

The activities for this Labour Day will focus on clean-up and repair projects as well as the identification and removal of mosquito breeding sites.

Preventing and controlling the outbreak of vector-borne diseases is vital to ensuring a healthy environment for all of us – for you and for your children.

When our living spaces and surroundings encourage unhealthy agents such as mosquitoes, there is great danger to health and safety, especially for vulnerable groups.

A healthy environment is vital for the development of Jamaica in sustainable ways.

That is why it is often said that the health of a nation is the wealth of a nation.

Let Labour Day this year be a time of new resolve to continue doing everything we can to build our families, communities and our nation.

Let us combine our efforts this Labour Day 2016 to make every nook and cranny of Jamaica healthy clean and nice.

God bless you and crown your efforts and may God bless Jamaica Land We Love.

JIS Social