News Categories: Media Release

05 Sep
By: MLSS PR Unit 0

Canadian Gov’t Supports Labour Minister’s Task Force Initiative to Investigate Working Conditions of Jamaicans on Canadian Farms

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday , September 1, 2022

 

Canadian Gov’t Supports Labour Minister’s Task Force Initiative to Investigate Working Conditions of Jamaicans on Canadian Farms

 

 

Labour and Social Security Minister, Honourable Karl Samuda, has received the support of the Canadian Government for the commissioning of a Fact-Finding team, to investigate the working conditions of Jamaican Farmworkers in Canada.

During a Courtesy Call on Minister Samuda this afternoon (September 1), Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, noted that the Canadian Government shares Jamaica’s concern for the safety and security of the Jamaican workers, and commended the Minister’s decision.

The High Commissioner further noted that the Jamaican workers in Canada have maintained a solid reputation as good workers, and gave her Government’s commitment to support tactical solutions identified by the task force to improve conditions wherever necessary.

In the meantime, Minister Samuda indicated that it is essential for both governments to work closely together to strengthen the bilateral partnership to protect the interests of both the Jamaican Farmworkers and their employers in Canada, as well as the value and integrity of the programme. He added that, although the Farm Work programme had improved significantly over the decades, there is room for continuous improvement. The Minister assured the High Commissioner that the Ministry’s Liaison Service has been tasked with redoubling its efforts at ensuring that workers have easy access to existing mechanisms to facilitate confidentiality in reporting issues of poor working conditions and other concerns.

The Ministry is inviting Farm Workers, advocate groups and members of the public to report known incidences of mistreatment, poor working conditions and other concerns to the Liaison Service via its Toll-free line at 1-888-898-3951, or via email at jamliser@bellnet.ca. Reports may also be made confidentially to the Canadian authorities’ Integrity Services Branch online.

(l-r) Divisional Director for Industrial Relations, Gillian Corrodus, Permanent Secretary, Colette Roberts Risden, Minister of Labour & Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda, High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic, Head of Migration, Sean Morency and Head of Bilateral Relations, Stephanie O’Leary, engage in discussions regarding the Minister’s recent visit to Canada, where he led a team on a tour of nine farms on which Jamaicans are employed.

 

 

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

Minister of Labour Appoints Fact Finding Team for Canada

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Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Thursday, September 1, 2022

 

Minister of Labour Appoints Fact Finding Team for Canada

  

 

Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda has appointed a special fact-finding team to investigate the working conditions of Jamaican workers under the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers (Farm Work) Programme.

The six-member tripartite team is expected to travel to Canada to observe operations and speak with workers on the farms, and provide a report to the Minister.

Further details will follow.

 

 

 

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

$2 Billion Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Back to School Grants to PATH Beneficiaries

labour ministry with coat of arms

Public Relations Unit

1F North Street, Kingston

Tel: (876) 967-5484

Fax: (876) 948-2831

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

 

$2 Billion Payout by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Back to School Grants to PATH Beneficiaries

  

 

The Government of Jamaica is providing $2.03 Billion in Back to School Grants to beneficiary students under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and the Poor Relief Programme. Over 150,000 beneficiary students in primary and secondary schools are each set to receive $10,000.00 in added benefits, provided by the Special Economic Relief Programme (SERP), which was recently announced by Minister of Finance, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke. This is in addition to the annual PATH Back to School Grant of $3,500.00 per beneficiary student, which was introduced in September 2018.

The Back to School Grants are being delivered to eligible families by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, along with the regular bi-monthly PATH payout, which began on Monday, August 22, 2022.

In addition to the Back to School Grants, the Ministry has budgeted a further $40 Million for Post-Secondary Grants, as incentives to former beneficiary students who continue to pursue studies at levels up to Associate Degrees, and a further $424 Million in Tertiary Bursaries, for those pursuing Bachelor’s Degrees in tertiary institutions accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ).

Each Tertiary Bursary is valued at $100,000.00 per year, and is available for up to four (4) years of study, conditioned on satisfactory performance.

 

 

 

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 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

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

 

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

labour ministry with coat of arms

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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