BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JULY 30TH 2013 (CUOPM) – Workers in general in St. Kitts and Nevis including those on the industrial sites and the hospitality sector, have been given assurance that the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government will continue to look after their welfare.
Workers on the C.A. Paul Southwell Industrial Park gave thunderous applause to the news from Minister of Social and Community Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd, that government had passed legislation in the National Assembly for a long service gratuity after 10 years of continuous employment.
Ms. Liburd also announced that government had also passed legislation that 90 percent of the service charge is to be shared among workers in the hospitality industry and that discussions had begun on increasing the minimum wage.
Ms. Liburd, who has been holding discussions with employers and employees on several issues over the years, thanked the employers for allowing her to visit the factories to speak directly to the workers.
“You know that your government was going to deliver for you and delivered we have. Now you have your long service gratuity which you fought for so long and hard, we want to thank you for your perseverance, for your confidence in yourselves and for your full confidence in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the Government,” said Ms. Liburd, as she addressed scores of factory workers during their lunch break.
“So that law is now passed. I want to say to you that we are not now saying that you must go leave your jobs. The legislation to give you a long service gratuity, enhances your job conditions when you leave and you have something to tide you over,” she explained.
Ms. Liburd used the opportunity to refer to a former factory employee of Electrofab who fell ill and died from cancer leaving several children behind.
She accused the opposition members in the National Assembly of not being present in the lawmaking body to give support to the legislation that will benefit the workers.
“They are not in support of it. You are not going to hear them anywhere talking about it. Labour is the only party out there talking about it, because we are the only party who look after the workers of this country and particularly the women, because you know up here is 98% women and we have to make sure that you as single mothers could take good care of yourselves,” said Ms. Liburd.
“Yes, you might a want male presence, but we want to make sure that you as a single mother could take of yourself. That is why we are here. You must be able to take care of yourself and your children,” said Ms. Liburd, who is also Minister of Gender Affairs.