Categorized | National News

DNA Leader Encourages the Country’s Labour Force

Leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Branville McCartney yesterday encouraged the labour force to continue to fight for their rights in the wake of this year’s Labour Day.

Mr. McCartney, while paying respects to the late Sir Randol Fawkes, former trade unionist and often referred to as the “Father of Labour”, motivating today’s labour leaders to continue in his footsteps, the DNA leader also noted that the country’s history reflects clearly the important role which the labour movement played in the early development of the country’s democracy, as it acted as a catalyst in the push towards independence and later women’s suffrage.

“The leadership of the current labour movement has an enormous challenge,” he said.

“With the rights of workers being infringed upon daily, we as a nation find ourselves poised for battle. Unionists and labourers stand ready to fight for the freedoms which were first secured by our forefathers. To that end, thousands of workers are expected to take to the streets to march in solidarity with one another – as is their right – pledging their ongoing commitment to securing the rights of all workers. This show of strength should not be tainted by the presence of political figures, or partisan politics. If The Bahamas is to prosper, the political element must remove itself from the business of labour and allow the movement to thrive, flourish and live up to its original mandate: to protect the rights of working Bahamians.”

Mr. McCartney said although labourers are often undervalued by the political elite and underappreciated by profit hungry entities, it is essential to stand together to fight for salary increases, improved benefits, greater consultation and dialogue.

“The inability of the government to address lingering economic concerns has created an environment ripe for the mistreatment of workers,” he said.

“One where hardworking men and women are forced to endure less than ideal working conditions in a bid to feed their families. On countless occasions the government has failed to protect the rights of workers – evident from the scores of layoffs recorded in two of the country’s major economic sectors – tourism and banking – where foreign companies have been allowed to deprive workers of their due under the law.

“For years now, political elements have used workers as pawns to further their private agendas, making promises which often go unfulfilled but still, workers must not give up. You must not stop fighting for it.”

Mr. McCartney expressed his full support of this week’s Labour Day celebrations.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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