Workers’ Monument to be Upgraded

The Workers’ Monument located at the corner of Ocean Boulevard and Pechon Street in downtown Kingston will be upgraded with an image that fittingly honours those persons who fought during the labour movement 80 years ago.

The announcement was made by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange, during her address at the annual Commemoration and Remembrance Ceremony at the monument on Tuesday (May 15).

“We will be establishing a committee, with representation from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) and my Ministry, to determine the way forward in terms of completing this monument,” she informed.

She noted that the memorial was restored during Labour Day 2017 and the committee will make a final determination “on what the image will be that will be placed at the top of this monument”.

The Workers’ Monument, erected during Labour Day observances in 1977, symbolises the power of unity and the way forward to build a better Jamaica.

It serves as a reminder of the struggle of the Jamaican workers in the 1930s for better wages and more rights. The fight of the workers served as a catalyst for the movement towards Independence, which Jamaica was granted in 1962.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson, in her address, said the Ministry is pleased with its relationship with employers and trade unions, for the objective of preserving the legacy created by those who fought for Jamaican workers to have better wages and more rights.

“As Minister with responsibility for labour and on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the tripartite partners and wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment and that of the Government in ensuring that the established social dialogue platform, from which we proudly work together as one, will be preserved and used to the benefit of all Jamaicans,” she said.

The Commemoration and Remembrance Ceremony included a floral tribute and a minute of silence in honour of those who fought during the workers’ protests 80 years ago.

It forms part of Workers’ Week, being observed from May 14 to 23 under the theme ‘Preserving our Legacy: Unfolding Progress’.

Workers’ Week will culminate on Labour Day, Wednesday, May 23, under the theme ‘Ramp It Up… Fix It Up’.

Activities will focus on constructing ramps in schools to enable physically challenged persons to access these buildings, and upgrading health centres to enhance the environment for medical staff and clients.

The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is spearheading Labour Day activities through partnerships with the Ministries of Education, Youth and Information; Health; Local Government and Community Development; and Labour and Social Security as well as Municipal Corporations islandwide.

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