Column: PLP Celebrates Workers On Labour Day

September 1, 2023 | 0 Comments

Lauren Bell Bermuda August 31 2023[Opinion column written by Lauren Bell]

In recognition of Labour Day 2023, the Progressive Labour Party stands proudly alongside the hardworking men and women of Bermuda. We join our Brothers and Sisters in celebrating the immeasurable contributions that have shaped our Island’s past, define our present, and inspire our future.

Under the theme “We Built This Island,” the PLP pays tribute to the unwavering dedication of workers – past, present, and future – who have shaped our shared home.

The historical ties between the Progressive Labour Party and the trade union movement define us as a political party. From our inception, the PLP has been the voice of the working class, the guardians of justice, and the champions of equity. As we reflect on the struggles and triumphs that have defined our journey, we recommit ourselves to upholding the principles of social justice, workers’ rights, and equal opportunity.

The PLP extends our heartfelt thanks to the visionary leaders of Bermuda’s trade union movement who dedicated their lives to championing the advancement of workers’ rights. Their many sacrifices and long-fought battles paved the way for the progressive working conditions that all of Bermuda’s workers enjoy today.

Our commitment to labour is evident in the wide range of initiatives undertaken by this Government.

For the first time in Bermuda’s history, we mark a significant milestone: the introduction of a minimum hourly wage. This landmark achievement represents our steadfast commitment to ensuring that every worker is afforded fair compensation for their efforts. Thisis a testament to the values the PLP holds dear – equality, justice, and respect for the dignity of labour.

Through the introduction of the Trade Union and Labour Relations [Consolidated] Act, the PLP has modernized the legislative framework for Unions, ensuring that their role remains vital in safeguarding workers’ rights. Additionally, with amendments to the Employment Act, we have fortified labour rights and benefits, recognizing that a dignified workforce is the bedrock of a prosperous nation.

This Government has increased paid maternity leave, recognizing the vital role of mothers in both the workplace and the family. We proudly introduced paternity leave, acknowledging the

equal responsibilities of fathers in nurturing their families. Moreover, we have taken a firm stance against workplace bullying and sexual harassment, ensuring that every worker feels safe, respected, and protected.

The recently released Labour Force Survey Report highlights our progress in generating employment opportunities and reducing unemployment. Our efforts, particularly in youth employment, have begun to bear fruit.

We are investing in training and development that empowers our workers with the skills needed to excel in a rapidly evolving job market.

Since 2017,we have nearly doubled funding for Bermuda Government Scholarships, Awards and Educational Grants, increasing the budget from $1million to $1.95 million.

Our dedication to Bermudian workers extends to protecting closed categories, preserving job opportunities exclusively for our citizens. This approach not only fortifies our economy but also reinforces the importance of local talent and expertise.

As we commemorate Labour Day, we reiterate our commitment to building a Bermuda that is equitable, prosperous, and just. Together, we shall continue to build this Island, brick by brick, united by the spirit of labour, and the shared belief that the future we seek is one that we build together.

Together, we stand in solidarity with the workers of Bermuda and proudly declare:

“Labour Built this Island”

– Lauren Bell, PLP Deputy Chairperson

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