JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has suggested that a road map be designed to guide Jamaica through the current economic and financial challenges, and to find new opportunities for growth and development.
Mr. Charles was addressing the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) 2009 convention, held under the theme, “Succeeding in Turbulent Times; Partnership, Performance, Productivity,” which was held over the weekend at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort and Spa, Ocho Rios St. Ann.
The Minister urged employers to seek to work with the Government’s economic stimulus package, presented late last year by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, as well as proposals from the workers, presented by their trade unions, which included options such as reductions in wage packages, work week and other benefits, instead of separation, through lay offs and redundancies, in searching for an early recovery from the crises.
He said that redundancy, as an initial response, was not the best approach. He added that the Government is willing to participate in on the job training and the re-skilling of workers to increase production and rescue failing industries, while they await an upturn in business.
Mr. Charles encouraged the employers to start preparing for the challenges of the future, which will require multi shift systems, maximisation of production and increased employment. He said that a five-day, 40-hour work week, leaving machine and man hours idle for almost two thirds of the day, will have to become a thing of the past.
He also pledged Government’s full support for the sector, and endorsed the Prime Minister’s call for a partnership involving Government, employer and workers to face, what he described as, “the greatest financial and economic fallout the world has seen in our life time.”
“There are great opportunities that can come out of these challenges,” Mr. Charles encouraged the employers. He also congratulated them for the sacrifices they are making, and their contribution to the building of the country.
This year’s JEF convention was focussed on acquiring adequate tools to navigate the challenges employers are currently facing.

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