Speech

Madame Speaker, I rise today to advise this Honourable House about the plans being put in place for National Labour Day 2021.

National Labour Day 2021 will be observed on Monday, May 24th. In keeping with the provisions of the Holidays (Public General) Act, since May 23rd falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be known as “National Labour Day”.

Members are also being reminded that in keeping with the practice that was re-established in 2008, the invaluable contribution of the workers of Jamaica will be highlighted in the week leading up to Labour Day, which will be designated as “Workers’ Week”. The activities to be observed for Workers’ Week 2021 will be carried out from Sunday, May 16th to Monday, May 24th.

Recognition of the workers of Jamaica will again be central to the celebrations. The week will accord respect and pay homage to workers for their contribution to nation-building, and provide an opportunity for the engagement of the wider populace on matters related to productivity, work ethic, industrial relations and other important elements of work and national development.

As has become customary during Workers’ Week, recognition will also be given to the commemoration of the contribution of Right Excellent Sam Sharpe, National Hero, who was martyred on May 23, 1832 as a result of his
determination that slavery be abolished.

Madame Speaker, Jamaica’s contribution to the labour movement is enviable.

We have earned the right to not only celebrate the significance of our National Labour Day, but also the opportunity to continue to ‘give back’ in the spirit of nation building.

The planning and administration of the National Labour Day and Workers’ Week fall under the purview of the National Labour Day Secretariat in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport with support from the
Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The National Labour Day Planning Committee works closely with the Secretariat, and is comprised of key Ministries, Agencies, Departments and private sector entities relevant to Labour Day and Workers’ Week.

The Committee has been convening preparatory meetings to lay the groundwork for National Labour Day.

The theme and planned activities for Workers’ Week and National Labour Day 2021 have been developed in keeping with the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions under the Disaster Risk Management Act. In this regard Jamaicans will again be encouraged to “labour at home”.

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