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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
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