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Phillips urges end to workers being designated 'independent contractors'

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips is urging for an end to the growing practice among employers to designate workers as 'independent contractors'.

In his Labour Day message, Phillips points out that "this device denies workers in the various industries, including Security Guards, their right to collective bargaining and to the benefits it provides". 

The Opposition leader says there should be a resolve to protect the gains that have been made to improve the welfare of the ordinary Jamaican worker, which have come through the advocacy of champions of the workers' movement over the years.

He says it is through the fight for workers' welfare that the trade union movement came about, which helped to bring about the National Insurance Scheme and a national minimum wage.

"Also, we must continue to insist that public sector pension and the national minimum wage keep pace with the rise in the real cost of living facing the workers today," Phillips stressed.

In the meantime, he says the disabled community must not be forgotten in the activities organised to mark Labour Day.

"I want to pay particular tribute to Senator Dr Floyd Morris, whose advocacy secured the focus of this year’s Labour Day activities on the needs of the disabled community," Phillips said.

"We must pay tribute to him for reminding us that disabled persons continue to make a vital contribution to the well-being of our nation and that we, in turn, have an obligation to secure their dignity and well-being as we build a Jamaica that provides opportunities for all of its people," he added.