PNP expresses condolences and highlights Comrade Rochester's wage negotiation victories
The President of the People's National Party, Portia Simpson Miller has expressed condolences to the family of Derrick Rochester, who passed away earlier today, after ailing for some time.
The PNP says Simpson Miller notes the contribution Rochester made to Jamaica, St Elizabeth, the National Workers Union and the People's National Party, over several decades.
Among his memorable achievements are being the former President of the National Workers Union (NWU), and the distinctive record of holding the the offices of Island Supervisor and President simultaneously.
He was also the first worker delegate to head the union.
Another record for Rochester was when as head of the union, he negotiated an initial 100 per cent increase for workers in the bauxite industry, followed by an 80 per cent increase.
The PNP says as a trade unionist, he was very active in the bauxite industry and worker negotiations.
Simpson Miller recalled when bauxite infrastructural development and expansion was at its peak in the 1960’s, and 1970’s, with Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart), providing employment for thousands in St Elizabeth, Rochester, after winning the South East St Elizabeth seat in the 1972 General Election, quickly moved to establish the Junction Trade Training Centre, which was renamed in his honour in April 2013.
He also spearheaded the construction of the Junction Health Centre where he donated the lands and raised funds for its construction.
He became a Councillor in the St Elizabeth Parish Council in 1969, serving until 1972 when he entered Parliament.
He first served as a Member of Parliament between 1972 and 1980, Senator from 1980 to 1983, and MP again, from 1989 to 2002.
Over many years, he served as a member of the Party's Executive and National Executive Council.
He was the recipient of national awards, including the Order of Jamaica.
Simpson Miller said, that at an appropriate occasion, the Party would do its tribute to Comrade Derrick Rochester for his sterling contributions to the Party and national development.