In his message marking National Heroes Day, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips recalls that Heroes Day this year coincides with the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the birth of the Workers Movement.
He points out that the 1938 rebellion led to several changes in Jamaica and ultimately the establishment of certain fundamental rights of Jamaican people, some enshrined in the Constitution.
Dr. Phillips said: “Today, many of these hard-won rights, and benefits are at risk. Both (Alexander) Bustamante, and Norman Manley would have vigorously protested today’s widespread practice, of calling full-time workers independent contractors, thus depriving them of many of their benefits such as pension rights, maternity rights, and sick leave, among others, which were won over the years through the collective bargaining process.”
He said also that it must be remembered “that effective nationhood, and nation building must be inclusive of all Jamaicans. Progress and Prosperity must include everyone, most importantly our workers.”
Dr. Phillips also said the importance of volunteerism in Nation Building must be remembered too. “We urgently need a renewal of that spirit of volunteerism that expanded educational opportunities for our people and which provided the foundation for the community building efforts of Jamaica Welfare in the 1930s,” the Opposition Leader said.