Friday 22 November, 2019

Dalley moves resolution against ‘exploitative’ contract work locally

Horace Dalley

Horace Dalley

Opposition Spokesman on Labour, Horace Dalley, is stepping up the call from the parliamentary Opposition for steps to be taken to address the proliferation of contract work in Jamaica, a practice which he suggests is “unjust and exploitative”.

The former Minister of Labour in a previous People’s National Party (PNP) government, made his most recent call on Tuesday in a resolution he tabled in the House of Representatives, which is to be debated at a later date.

Dalley’s resolution follows a commitment that was given by Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, during his contribution to the Budget Debate in March, that a future PNP government would take steps to address the issue of contract work, which he said leaves many workers without tangible benefits.

Many workers on contract do not receive vacation and sick leave. Neither do they typically receive pension and some other benefits.

Contract work is particularly rife in the tourism industry and among industrial security guards, but is also present in most professions and in both the public and private sectors.

The full text of Dalley’s resolution is as follows:

“Whereas the system of contract work is rapidly expanding in the Jamaican workplace.

“And whereas this precarious system of employment is oppressive, and is contrary to the decent work agenda being pursued by the ILO (International Labour Organisation), of which Jamaica is a major member.

“And whereas it is the duty of the state to ensure a fair balance in the industrial relations of the country.

“And whereas several organisations and individuals have called for action to be taken to protect the rights of workers in both the public and private sectors.

“Be it resolved that this honourable House calls on the Government to table, as a matter of urgency, legislation to protect the workers of Jamaica from this exploitative system of employment.

“And be it further resolved that the Government takes immediate policy steps through consultation with the trade unions in the public sector, to correct this injustice to the workers, particularly in the public sector, who are suffering under this practice of contract work.”

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