UNITED PARTY TO HOLD MEETINGS TO DISCUSS LABOUR CODE
Former Opposition Leader Conrad Maduro is inviting the public to a series of meetings to be held by the United Party to discuss the Labour Code and other laws of the Virgin Islands, including the constitution.
He has raised a number of issues concerning the Labour Code that need to be discussed and said this is one law that is being violated and misinterpreted.
“The Labour Code was made for the purpose of protecting your rights and freedom, for you to negotiate or bargain just terms and conditions for work done or labour rendered,” Mr. Maduro stated.
However, he noted that there have been reports of forced labour being carried out here in these islands. He said if this is so, it can only be brought about due to negligence or complacency on the part of the employees or the government, since the Labour Code 1975 protects the employees against any such form of abuse.
The politician said in order for one to exercise freedom to protect their rights, the first step is to know what their rights are. “In order to perform our duties as good citizens to protect our rights and freedom, we need knowledge, wisdom, understanding, reason and labour and since the purpose of government is to execute justice, we need honesty as well.”
According to Mr. Maduro, without administering and enforcing laws, they will be useless. He said this is the responsibility of the executive branch of the government.
“Yet, it is understood that there are many outstanding labour problems for very long periods, due to the excuses such as ‘the code is no good’, ‘it needs to be replaced’ etc.,” he said.
He referred to recent industrial action taken by civil servants in the Customs Department and the employees of a bank.
Mr. Maduro went on to say, “Everyone who reads and understands the laws knows that our major labour problem is failure to implement the Labour Code 1975,” the former Minister of Labour and Opposition Leader declared.
He pointed out that like every other country, the BVI is dependent on its economy and like all things, the economy is dependent on labour. He said since everything is dependent on labour, we must first protect our labour in order to protect our everything.
Mr. Maduro said government is not the personal business of any individual or family, but the entire public as a whole. He said therefore, we cannot have a government based on the likings of any individual or minority group if justice is to be done.
“If as a people you want to receive your rights, maintain justice and enjoy the blessings of your freedom, it is your duty and responsibility to make the necessary changes within the government,” the politician suggested.
He said whether good or bad government, the credit or shame is that of the voters and there is no excuse for bad government.
Dates and times for the upcoming meetings by the United Party on the Labour Code will be announced.
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