Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller launched the 2012 Labour Day/Workers’ Week activities this morning (May 07) and urged Jamaicans to show how much they care for the nation by joining in the national effort under the theme Step Forward…Make Jamaica Beautiful.

Underscoring the significance of this year’s Labour Day as the country marks its 50th year of independence, the Prime Minister invited everyone to get involved and make this Labour Day the best ever by heeding the call to care for our country, our communities, our environment, our people. In keeping with the theme, the Prime Minister urged communities to undertake projects of cleaning up and beautification including parks, and play areas for children.

Speaking at the launch at Jamaica House, Mrs Simpson Miller said that commemorating Labour Day on the 50th year of independence was a time to recall the workers struggles and sacrifices of the May 23, 1938 labour disturbances as providing “the insights, energy and impetus for the final phase of the journey towards political Independence."

The national project for Labour Day will be the National Heroes Park and will entail the planting of trees, installing of park benches, landscaping work, washing and refurbishing of the shrines, refurbishing of walkways, enhancement of the entrance, among other things. In addition to the national project, there will be two ceremonies to honour the contribution of National Hero Sam Sharpe, for his role in pushing back against the enslavement of labour. Both ceremonies will be held at the same time in Kingston at the National Heroes Park and also at Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay.

The Prime Minister urged all parish leaders to undertake projects that will gain the full support of communities and will be lasting legacies of pride, self-reliance and harmonious interaction for the benefit of all.

The Labour Day concert in the evening will be held on the Kingston Waterfront.

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