News Categories: Media Release

17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour Minister Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Jamaican Farm Worker in Canada

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 

Labour Minister Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Jamaican Farm Worker in Canada

  

 

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is expressing deep sadness at the passing of Mr Garvin Yapp, a 57 year old worker who participated in the Ministry’s Farm Work Programme in Canada.

Yapp, who hails from Tangle River District in St James, is a 35 year veteran of the programme, and was held in such high esteem that his employer would vacation at Yapp’s home on his visits to Jamaica.

Circumstances surrounding his death are still being investigated, however, preliminary reports are that on August 14, he was involved in a work-related accident and was pronounced dead on site.

A team from the Ministry’s Family Services Unit has visited with Mr Yapp’s family and has been offering psycho-social and other support.

Meanwhile, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, who, along with the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Colette Roberts Risden, is currently touring farms in Canada, spoke with Mr Yapp’s widow by telephone earlier this afternoon. The Minister expressed his condolences and assured her of the Ministry’s continued support.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Increased Job Opportunities Coming for Jamaican Hospitality Workers

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, August 12, 2022

 

Increased Job Opportunities Coming for Jamaican Hospitality Workers

  

 

Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Labour & Social Security, Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, hosted a meeting with a team of recruiters to discuss prospects for increased overseas employment opportunities for Jamaican Hospitality Workers, on Tuesday, August 9.

The team, led by Mrs. Veronica Birkenstock, President of Practical Employee Solutions (PES), engaged the Permanent Secretary in discussions on expanding the number of workers on PES Properties. PES has been participating with the Jamaica Central Labour Organization (JCLO) programme for over 25 years.

According to Birkenstock, up to July 28, 2022 there were approximately 374 Jamaicans from the Government operated programme on PES Properties, noting that there are opportunities for increased engagements.  Director of Recruiting of Omni Hilton, SC, Mr.  Martin Lake, stressed his organization’s keen interest in returning workers, noting that “the returning worker is gold”, due to their prior experience and ability to “hit the ground running” in contrast to new workers who had a steeper learning curve.

Director of Associate Services, Mrs. Dorothy Beek, expressed a desire to start interviewing workers in Jamaica again, “preferably as soon as September 2022”.

For her part, Mrs Roberts Risden reiterated the fact that Jamaica places great value on the US/Jamaica partnership, and assured the team of the Ministry’s capacity to recruit and engage eligible workers for the September recruitment drive, and indicated that plans are in place to dispatch groups of workers via Montego Bay in addition to the current dispatches from Kingston.

The meeting was held at the Ministry’s North Street office in Kingston.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Cayman Delegation

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, August 12, 2022

 

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Cayman Delegation

  

 

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, today hosted a delegation from the Cayman Islands at his North Street office.  The delegation was led by Hon. Christopher Saunders, deputy Premier and Minister of Border Control and Labour. The Deputy Premier was accompanied by Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport, Mr. Vinton Chinsee, Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Wesley Howell, Chief Officer, UK Passport.

Minister Samuda expressed pleasure in welcoming the delegation, noting that the Caribbean is a melting pot of races and cultures which share a common core of heritage and lifestyles.  For his part, Minister Saunders congratulated Jamaica on the quality of talent which the island continues to export, noting that the Jamaicans accounted for the second largest population in Cayman, second only in numbers to Caymanians.

Minister Samuda, who was accompanied by Chief Technical Director, Mrs. Dionne Jennings, engaged the delegation in discussions on the systems used to grant Work Permits in Jamaica, noting that as much as 57% of Cayman’s labour force is imported. Minister Samuda disclosed that approximately 5,000 persons are currently in Jamaica on Work Permits, representing 0.4% of the employed labour force. The Minister emphasized the fact that a Jamaican Work Permit is not a Permanent Visa, and explained that one condition of granting Work Permits is that the employer must ensure that Jamaicans benefit from training by the immigrant team, as a means of building capacity in the Jamaican workforce, thereby reducing the need to continue to import skilled labour in those fields.

Further discussions are to be held with the Cayman team, which has also expressed an interest in replicating Jamaica’s HEART Trust NSTA, as a means of building Cayman’s pool of local persons certified in Vocational Skills.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour Ministry Averts Industrial Action at JPS

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

 

Labour Ministry Averts Industrial Action at JPS

  

 

The Ministry of Labour & Social Security this afternoon received reports that workers employed to the Jamaica Public Service company were restive following a breakdown in wage talks between the company and workers represented by the National Workers Union and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.

Following conciliation talks, the parties reached an agreement and normalcy has returned to the company.

The Hon. Karl Samuda has commended the parties on the maturity in handling the discussions that facilitated the settlement of the protracted negotiations.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour Minister Expresses Sympathy to Residents of Central Kingston

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

 

Labour Minister Expresses Sympathy to Residents of Central Kingston

  

 

Labour & Social Security Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda has expressed deepest sympathy to the families who were displaced by the fire in Central Kingston early Monday morning. A team from the Ministry visited the community on Monday to conduct assessments, and has mobilized its emergency relief mechanism.

The team will be visiting the 17 families who were left homeless and will provide them with hygiene kits and bedding this afternoon.

“The continuous acts of violence on the Jamaican citizens must be put to rest, and so I am urging Jamaican citizens to join with the Government of Jamaica and the Police by providing information on those responsible so that they can be brought to justice for this gruesome act,” Minister Samuda said.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Monday, August 8, 2022 is a Normal Working Day

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, August 4, 2022

 

Monday, August 8, 2022 is a Normal Working Day

  

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security is advising members of the public that Monday, August 8, 2022 is a normal working day, and that Independence Day is being observed on Saturday, August 6, as provided under the Public Holidays Act.

Section 2 of the Public Holidays Act and the Schedule to the said Act provide that where August 6 falls on a Sunday, Independence Day is to be observed on the following Monday.  Since August 6 falls on a Saturday this year, provisions for observance of Independence Day on Monday are not applicable.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

$189Million Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security under SERP

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

 

 

$189 Million Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security under SERP

 

 

Government of Jamaica is providing $189 Million under the Special Economic Relief Programme (SERP), which was recently announced by Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.  In making his announcement the Minister indicated that the SERP was part of additional measures “to ensure appropriate demographic diversity” of the expenditure under the intervention.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security began distribution of cheques in each of Jamaica’s 63 Constituencies earlier today (August 3, 2022). 18,900 families will benefit under the programme. Each Member of Parliament was asked to identify 300 constituents who are facing economic hardship, and who are not beneficiaries under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).

The payment is part of a $3.8 billion allocation for social expenditure, $2.7 billion of which represents new expenditure.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Courtesy Call by the US Ambassador

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, July 28, 2022

 

Labour & Social Security Minister Hosts Courtesy Call by the US Ambassador

 

 

 

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, hosted the US Ambassador to Jamaica, Mr. N. Nickolas Perry, who paid a Courtesy Call on the Minister at his North Street office, earlier today.  Ambassador Perry holds the distinction of being the first person of Jamaican birth to hold this office.

In welcoming the Ambassador, Minister Samuda expressed deep pride at the ascension of a fellow Jamaican to the office of US Ambassador to Jamaica, and noted that his presence was of great significance to the Ministry.  For his part, Ambassador Perry thanked the Minister for the opportunity to discuss meaningful issues that impact the quality of life of the Jamaican people, and congratulated Jamaica on attainment of its 60th year of Independence.

Minister Samuda, who was accompanied by Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Colette Roberts Risden, engaged the Ambassador in discussions surrounding cooperation between the Government of Jamaica and the US Government, particularly on Labour issues. The Minister emphasized the importance of strengthening these relations, as Jamaica sends more than 5,000 Farm Workers to the United States of America each year, and highlighted the significance of the earning capacity for each family, noting that as much as 85% of earnings are repatriated to Jamaica.

The Permanent Secretary noted that Jamaica has been supplying seasonal workers for US farms for the past 78 years, and that in addition to providing these employment opportunities, the US Department of Labour has been providing technical support to Jamaica in several areas, including development of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS), Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) procedures, and policies on Child Labour and Trafficking in Persons. Mrs. Roberts Risden told the Ambassador that given the multiple areas of collaboration, Jamaica is looking forward to signing a Cooperation Agreement on labour between both governments. Minister Samuda noted that signature of such an agreement during the tenure of the Ambassador would be a significant achievement.

The Minister also engaged the Ambassador in discussions surrounding the need for adequate Health Insurance for Jamaican Farm Workers.  Following the discussions, Minister Samuda and the Permanent Secretary led the Ambassador and Consul General, Stephen Black, on a tour of the Overseas Employment Centre on East Street, to observe the processing of Farmworkers ahead of their departure for various destinations in the United States.

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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17 Aug
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Minister Samuda Pushes for 2022/23 Financial Year Implementation of OSH Bill

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Friday, June 10, 2022

 

Minister Samuda Pushes for 2022/23 Financial Year Implementation of OSH Bill

 

 

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda has asserted that the Ministry team has been moving swiftly in providing support to the legislative process to complete redrafting of the Occupational Safety and Health Bill (OSH Bill) for its tabling in the Houses of Parliament.

Minister Samuda made his comments during a Courtesy Call with the President of the Jamaica Occupational Health and Safety Professionals Association (JOHSPA), Dr. Yohann White, at the Ministry’s North Street offices in Kingston, last Thursday (June 9). The Minister noted, that the OSH Bill remains a serious priority of his and the goal is to have the matter completed before the end of the 2022/2023 Fiscal year.

“We have put everything in motion thus far and I have spoken to the Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs regarding the urgency and importance of having the revised bill completed as quickly as possible”, Minister Samuda said.

According to the Minister, the timeline given for the legislation to be in place can be strenuous however, he believes the Bill has been languishing for far too long and must be put in place to regulate safety practices in the workplace to help in curtailing on-the-job injuries and fatalities.

On the other hand, Minister Samuda indicated that Occupational Health and Safety is a very challenging field, partly due to the lack of observation and compliance with rules and procedures, especially in the Construction Sector.

“It would be inaccurate to suggest that we are not focused on getting the Bill passed but the Bill is only part of the solution”, the Minister said.

He further indicated that he welcomes collaborations with JOHSPA and looks forward to their continued support on Occupational Safety and Health matters.

 

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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09 Jun
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Labour Minister Expresses regrets at the Passing of Veteran Trade Unionist, Hanif Brown

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, June 8, 2022

 

Labour Minister Expresses regrets at the Passing of Veteran Trade Unionist, Hanif Brown

 

 

The Hon. Karl Samuda, Minister of Labour & Social Security and staff, express deepest sympathy to the Trade Union movement, workers, family and friends of the late veteran Trade Unionist, Hanif Brown.

Minister Samuda stated that “the Trade Union movement has lost another remarkable stalwart who has made an invaluable contribution to Jamaica’s Agricultural Sector”.

Hanif Brown started his life of service to the Jamaican people in the line of representational politics. He indicated that in 1990 he was drafted into the fold of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union and in 1992, became Island Supervisor with responsibility for the Eastern Parishes.

Hanif Brown was one of 25 individuals whose contributions to Labour Relations was recognized by Minister Samuda at the Ministry’s Labour Awards Banquet last Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Mr. Brown was absent due to ill health.

Mr Brown worked in getting better conditions for banana growers in St. Thomas, housing and pension arrangements for sugar workers, island wide.

In his comments, Minister Samuda noted that Mr. Hanif Brown had contributed 30 years of Exemplary service in the field of Trade Unionism, particularly, for his contribution to improved conditions for agricultural workers.

Mr. Brown has left an enormous legacy in the field of labour relations.

May his soul rest in peace.

 

 

 

 

Contact: MLSS Communication Unit (876) 967-5484
|Email: prunit@mlss.gov.jm
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