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Tuesday 12 November 2019
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Labour Minister calls it quits

Minister of Labour Jennifer Baptiste-Primus
Minister of Labour Jennifer Baptiste-Primus

THE general-election bell has not yet sounded, but already one member of the People's National Movement (PNM) Cabinet has decided to call it quits.

Jennifer Baptiste-Primus has signalled her intention to bow out of active politics, “and happily fade into the sunset.”

She has served one term as a senator and Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development.

Baptiste-Primus dropped the bombshell as she addressed the dinner and awards ceremony of the Co-operative Credit Union Movement at Achievors  Banquet Hall, San Fernando, on Thursday night.The 71st International Credit Union Day was commemorated on October 17.

Twice,during her address to the audience ,which included her husband, Gaston Primus, president of the movement Joseph Remy and political analyst Dr Winsford James, Baptiste-Primus referred to her departure.

In her opening remarks as she commended the president and the league for the strides made over the years, she slipped in, “And as I prepare to demit office, I want to wish you and the members of your league the very best.”

As she ended her 15-minute presentation, in which she commended the credit union movement for helping her accumulate all her worldly possessions, Baptiste-Primus made it clear this was the last time she would address the league as its line minister.

“Let me, as the outgoing Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development…” she said, pausing as the audience reacted with surprise.

“Yes, because we all have to prepare. I am one of those persons who prepare for every stage of my life,” she said. “God has blessed me to serve you for a five-year period, and I have made sure that the foundation I laid and the baton I have created will be handed over to the next Minister of Labour and Small Enterprise Development to continue this journey across the landscape of TT and I will fade very happily into the sunset.”

Baptiste-Primus, who started her career as a nurse, rose through the ranks of the trade union movement, finishing at the top as president of the Public Services Association. On retiring from the public services, she had to relinquish the PSA post. In 2015, she was appointed a senator to serve in the Cabinet.

The league’s COO, Dianne Joseph, in wishing Baptiste-Primus well, said she hoped whoever succeeds her will maintain the high standard she had set.

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