Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus will not be attending any of the Labour Day celebrations organised by the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) in Fyzabad or in Tobago by the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) umbrella body.
However, the former trade unionist is extending Labour Day greetings to her former comrades. “I am wishing all my comrades a happy and reflective Labour Day. Regrettably, I will not be participating in any of the activities of Labour Day. I would have given my contribution over the years and I wish them well,” said Baptiste-Primus, who led the Public Services Association (PSA) before entering government. In response to a query from former trade unionist and Minister in the Labour Ministry Rudranath Indarsingh about a ten-point plan to assist retrenched workers, Baptiste-Primus said she would not be sidetracked by him.
In his Labour Day message, Indarsingh questioned the reason for Baptiste-Primus’ delay in delivering on her promised plan to help retrenched workers, matching their skills with vacancies.
Lamenting the loss of 35,000 jobs since the People’s National Movement (PNM) took power in 2015, Indarsingh said, “The much negotiated and advancements of gainful employment, productivity and personal development which workers achieved during the Kamla Persad-Bissessar-led Peo ple’s Partnership administration (PP) have been systematically eroded and instead, the working class has been reverted to a culture of dependence and a loss of security of tenure in the workplace.”
In response, the Labour Minister said of Indarsingh, “On the issue of the ten0-point plan, he has brought me before the Parliament time and time again to give an update on it. And each time an update was given that the plan is in place. All unemployed persons have to do is to contact the ministry and the various mechanisms will kick in. “I do not know what else Rudy Indarsingh wants from me.
What I would like him to do is to point to one achievement he can talk about when he was ministry in the Ministry of Labour.”