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Bean issues Labour Day message

Opposition leader Marc Bean (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A new form of labour relations is called for in times of economic urgency, according to Marc Bean, the Leader of the Opposition.

In a Labour Day message for the Progressive Labour Party, Mr Bean called the movement “one that highlights the strength, resilience and determination of our people”.

“Throughout history equality, economic parity, improved benefits and better working conditions have had to be fought for, vehemently, so that we could enjoy the benefits in the workplace that we do today.

“The position we currently find ourselves in, characterised by a struggling economy, a deteriorating social fabric, and often a devaluing of labourers, requires us to rethink our approach going forward. Simply put, the urgency of now requires a new type of labour relation with both government and the private sector.

“Even more than pay rises and increased benefits, our people must also be empowered so that they can begin to help and do for themselves. The truth is that legislation cannot change the attitudes of many within the private sector, and to have the opportunities we so desire will require us as a community to come together and provide opportunities for ourselves.

“In the face of calculated moves to halt and diminish our progress, our unity will remain our strength. Our ability to look out for one another will be what carries us through, and our ability to stand in the face of adversity continues to increase our abilities.

“As leaders, we must also recognise the responsibility that is upon each of us to ensure that our progress continues. Clean hands, a pure heart, integrity and wisdom are the minimum that are required from us all, and these virtues are what will carry us forward.

“With stagnant wages, continued job loses, and the suffering of our people continuing, Labour Day serves as a sobering reminder of how far we have come, and how far we still must go to ensure the dignity of our people is upheld.

“To every union member, and each of us that now enjoy benefits bestowed upon as a result of the labour movement, I wish you all a happy Labour Day, and urge that we continue on in the spirit that has brought us to this point. Be blessed and continue to look out for one another.”