Labour Day Message by Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips

Photo: JIS Photographer Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips.

Story Highlights

  • Labour Day 2017, provides us with the opportunity to once again honour and celebrate the tremendous contribution of the workers of Jamaica to national development.
  • We must never forget that in 1938 it was the collective protest of the Jamaican workers against the appalling economic and social conditions of colonial society that set the stage for the emergence of organized trade unions, and set the foundations of our modern day political arrangements which laid claim to Jamaica’s Independence.
  • Have a safe and productive Labour Day; and may God continue to bless Jamaica and its people.

‘Protecting the Interest of Workers As We Build
A Jamaica That Works for All’

My fellow Jamaicans.

Labour Day 2017, provides us with the opportunity to once again honour and celebrate the tremendous contribution of the workers of Jamaica to national development.

We must never forget that in 1938 it was the collective protest of the Jamaican workers against the appalling economic and social conditions of colonial society that set the stage for the emergence of organized trade unions, and set the foundations of our modern day political arrangements which laid claim to Jamaica’s Independence.

Let us forever remember that Jamaica’s survival in today’s global economy is due primarily to the efforts of our workers.

Every day thousands of Jamaican workers in Agriculture; in Tourism; in our factories and stores and our call centres; as well as the members of our security personnel; bus and taxi drivers; Teachers; Nurses; Civil Servants and numerous others, keep Jamaica functioning.

We pay tribute as well to the workers in the Financial Services, the music industry and other service providers.

They provide the services that are essential to our survival as a Country and many earn the foreign exchange that keeps our economy afloat.

Without our workers and their efforts we would not exist as a viable country and a vibrant society.

It is this simple reality that continues to inspire so many Jamaicans to fuel their determination to honour the dignity of work by undertaking community projects all across the country.

I salute every worker and commend each and every Jamaican who is working today to build a better Jamaica by supporting community projects all across the nation.

This is especially important given the recent flood rains that have affected so many homes, businesses and communities across Jamaica.

As we come together and celebrate the contribution of the workers and the Trade Union Movement to the building of modern Jamaica, let us also recommit ourselves to the protection and extension of worker’s rights.

The denial of the representation rights of workers in some sectors of the economy, and the spread of the practice of employing workers under the guise that they are independent contractors, are among the things having the effect of limiting the fundamental rights of workers and reducing their benefits, including pension benefits.

Jamaica’s future as a society that affords equal opportunity to all its people, will forever be enhanced by the energy and activism of a strong Trade Union Movement.

With this in mind, let us take time out this Labour Day, to celebrate our workers, by putting work into Labour Day. Equally, let us rededicate ourselves to the historic objectives of the Labour Movement, which is to build a Jamaica that works for all the people.

Have a safe and productive Labour Day; and may God continue to bless Jamaica and its people.

JIS Social