Categorized | National News

Umbrella Unions March Together On Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day Parade

The first Sir Randol Fawkes Labour Day Parade has been dubbed a success by various union leaders and some of Sir Randol’s family.

Sir Randol’s youngest son, David, told the Bahama Journal on Friday that he was pleased by how many people turned up to the parade in support of his father.

“If daddy was here he would be proud,” he said.

“I’m sure he’s smiling. This day was a long time coming and I just want to thank the government and all the unions for coming together to make all of this happen.”

For the first time, both umbrella unions – the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the National Congress of Unions in The Bahamas (NCTUB) marched on the same route.

The unions left from Windsor Park on East Street and Wulff Road, came up East Street travelling north on to Bay Street and from Bay Street they travelled west to Clifford Park.

Minister of Labour Shane Gibson said he was happy that the day finally came.

“Sir Randol is the father of labour and this is long overdue,” he said.

“When we debated renaming Labour Day in Parliament, there was no opposition. All Bahamians should be proud today. Today is a great day in the history of The Bahamas and I hope all, especially our young children will remember the contribution Sir Randol made not only to labour but to the country’s overall development.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie shared similar views.

“This is the time for Bahamians all around to see how far we have come,” he said.

“This is a step in the right direction and I am more than happy that this took place under my government. We will continue to honour Bahamians who have contributed to the country’s development and hopefully we can continue to do this for those who have gone on as well as those who are still alive.”

Free National Movement (FNM) Leader, Dr. Hubert Minnis also participated in the parade.

He said he was happy to march with the unions because they make up a pivotal part of the country’s economy.

“Without workers we would have nothing,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Workers are the backbone of this country so I am marching today for them as well as on this historic first Sir Randol Fawkes Day.”

TUC President, Obie Ferguson expressed his gratitude to the government for allowing this to happen.

“This is one of the biggest Labour Day parades I’ve ever seen and I’m happy to be part of it on this first Sir Randol Fawkes Day,” he said.

“Sir Randol would be so happy right now. This country is nothing without Bahamian workers and we will continue to fight for workers’ rights in the country and ensure that they get the best representation they can have when disputes arise. But I am happy to see all these people out and I’m proud to be a labourer.”

NCTUB President, Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson agreed.

“To God be the glory great things he has done,” she said.

“This was a long time coming and I am so excited that politics was put to the side to rename Labour Day in Sir Randol’s honour. This is a glorious day for all workers and I will say that I feel that the best is yet to come.”

A junkanoo rush out also took place. It started on Bay and East Streets travelling west and ended on Arawak Cay.

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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