The latest info from the Central Statistical office (CSO) shows the country’s unemployment figure has remained steady at four percent, despite current economic circumstances, Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis says.
She made the revelation yesterday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain, as the church held a service to celebrate TT’s 4st Republic Day anniversary.
“That means for every 100 persons you see, at least four are unemployed. So in this congregation of 500, there are at least 20 unemployed persons.
“So very much like the labourers in the parable, there are many persons standing idly in the marketplace waiting to be hired and there are vineyard owners looking for persons to be hired,” the minister said during her keynote address at a service which commemorated Republic Day.
Robinson-Regis said the challenge facing the country is two-fold.
“For the unemployed, there must be a desire to be employed and a consequential realisation that I must equip myself with the peculiar skills that are necessary for the job I seek. The second is with respect to vineyards owners, to be just and fair in their dealings with those desperately in need if employment.”
She said the stories of exploitation, discrimination, and employers who ill-treat their employees are many. “I challenge employers today to treat their workers fairly, pay them their just due, and provide the conditions under which they can be most productive.”
The minister continued, “While the inequity of the vineyard owner, in deciding to pay everyone the same wage, might be contrary to terms and conditions spelt out in many collective agreements, the principle is one of fairness and justice, and the right of the employer to treat every employee equally.”
Robinson-Regis said that next week her ministry will turn the sod to begin construction of the highway from Cumuto to Manzanilla.