Thu | Dec 7, 2023

PNP conference speakers lash gov't over corruption, treatment of workers

Published:Sunday | September 17, 2023 | 12:45 PM
Secretary General of Socialist International, Benedicta Lasi. - Rudolph Brown photo

One by one, representatives of the arms and affiliates of the PNP on Sunday slammed the Holness administration for allegedly being soft on corruption and doing little to help government workers, including teachers, doctors and nurses. 

They were speaking at the party's 85th annual conference under way at the National Arena in St Andrew. 

"Weh di six deh? Who is the six? Bring out the six," said Camille Ade-John, who spoke on behalf of overseas affiliates. 

She was referring to the disclosure from the Integrity Commission that six members of the Parliament are being investigated for alleged illicit enrichment.

Their identities remain unknown, but the Opposition PNP, without evidence, has suggested that the persons are from the ruling Jamaica Labour Party. 

Dexroy Martin, deputy general secretary of the National Workers Union chastised the Government over the treatment of workers. 

"Line at the Ministry of Labour is long because everywhere you turn, people have been having disputes," he said, arguing that the government has not been managing the processes. 

He criticised the contentious review of compensation for public sector workers, declaring that there were no increases. 

Under the new regime, workers were guaranteed a minimum 20 per cent increase after tax over three years. Some benefits were cut. 

President of the PNP Patriots, the professional arm, Christopher Henry, criticised the Government for the state-owned National Housing Trust (NHT) for using private institutions, such as banks, to provide certain loans to beneficiaries under a new programme. The NHT would absorb agreed interest rates. 

The Patriots general secretary, Paul Blake, said he had a new award for the Holness administration, which he said was for being an "unruly and wicked government". 

The Secretary General of Socialist International, Benedicta Lasi, spoke glowingly of the PNP President Mark Golding, saying he is in a position to lead the "much-needed transformation" of Jamaica. 

The Ghanaian emphasised that the PNP needs to be united to be a powerful political force.

"To win the next elections, we must unite as a party with a singular focus - the political and socioeconomic transformation of Jamaica. Let us set aside our differences and stand together, strong and resolute."

According to her, "The stakes are higher for the People's National Party than ever before. The fate of our beloved Jamaica rests in the balance, and it is our responsibility to shape the fate for the better," she said. 

Head of the PNP Women's Movement Patricia Duncan Sutherland also addressed the packed National Arena.

Follow The Gleaner on X and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or