As part of National Workers Week activities this year, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security will tour several businesses that have benefited from the interventions of the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC).The interventions have focused on issues such as waste reduction, energy conservation, productivity-linked wage systems, and non-monetary compensation systems.Speaking at the launch of National Labour Day 2013 and National Workers Week on Monday, May 13, at Jamaica House, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said that the Ministry’s main focus this year is on achieving “a productivity revolution”.“Hence, we intend to get into the workplace to see exactly what is happening and see what the interventions of the Jamaica Productivity Centre have been achieving,” he stated.He informed that on May 16, there will be a tour of the Jamaica Bedding Company, as well as a facility on Slipe Road in Kingston, where several small businesses operate. The tours will begin three days before the official start of Workers Week, which will be observed from May 19 to May 23.The JPC is the national organisation responsible for promoting and facilitating productivity enhancement at the national, sectoral, industry and enterprise levels.It is a tripartite organisation comprising the Ministry, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions and the Jamaica Employers’ Federation.The Minister, in the meantime, is urging the society to use the occasion of Workers Week 2013 to reflect on ways in which persons can exercise greater support and voluntary action towards the vulnerable.He also encouraged that Labour Day 2013 be used “as a public manifestation of our care and concern for the less fortunate by lending a hand to build our land.”“Let us exercise maximum volunteerism this Labour Day. Let us touch the areas of deepest impact in the lives of our vulnerable brothers, sisters and children. Let us highlight their strengths over their weaknesses, let us fortify their faith in humanity, especially our humanity,” he encouraged.The Ministry will also be using the electronic and print media to get its message of volunteerism and workers rights to the public.President of the Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA), Oneil Grant, who brought greetings, noted that although the workers have come a far way, the struggle continues.“We need to come to a point where we have dialogue; where we consider the people, who work for us not as cold machines that just churn out productivity, but as persons who have needs, persons who are impacted by what is in their environment and this will impact the work that they do,” Mr. Grant said.Labour Day and Workers Week 2013 are being celebrated under the theme: ‘Lend a Hand…Build Our Land’.Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, informed that the national project will be the St. Mary Infirmary in Port Maria.She also pointed out that the launch of Labour Day and Workers’ Week 2013 is being celebrated against two significant milestones – the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Labour Day by late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Michael Manley, and the 75th anniversary of the birth of the modern trade union movement, following the labour riots of 1938.Contact: Andrea Braham
IQALUIT, Nunavut – City officials in Iqaluit suspended all municipal services this weekend until further notice due to extreme weather conditions.The services, which include water that’s trucked into homes and waste management, have been on hold since Saturday in Nunavut’s capital.Environment Canada issued a blizzard warning for the city due to northwesterly wind gusts up to 60 km/h that are causing blowing snow and reduced visibility, although that warning was ended later Sunday.Frank Reardon, a resident of Iqaluit, said the sky began to clear before sunset on Sunday at 2:08 p.m. But he said the truck that was supposed to deliver water to his home on Friday never made it due to the bad weather.Homes in the older part of the city where he lives aren’t served by water and sewer pipes, he explained.“We’re in conservation mode now. No showers. Just using the minimum water,” Reardon said.Reardon said the sewer truck hadn’t come either, although he wasn’t worried because his sewer tank is about twice the size of his water reservoir.City officials said fire, ambulance and police services will still be provided in spite of the service suspension, unless it’s deemed absolutely unsafe or impossible.But they said delays in emergency services should be expected.Temperatures in Iqaluit were sitting at about -21 C on Sunday morning, with a wind chill of -37 C.According to Reardon, the snow started on Friday afternoon but it was Friday night when it started to get really bad. He ventured outside to take some pictures Saturday, but said visibility was so poor his camera was useless.His house is on pylons and he said the wind was so strong, his walls and floor shook and vibrated all Saturday night. A jar of hand cream that was on a shelf rattled until it fell to the floor.“You’ve got to remember there’s not really much blocking wind, so when we get wind here it’s full-force coming right off the land down over the hill, so it’s pretty strong,” Reardon said.“It’s hard to get to sleep. I actually had to end up putting earplugs in because I just couldn’t deal with the noise from the wind.”Environment Canada predicted periods of light snow to continue through Sunday night. Monday’s forecast called for mostly clear skies, less wind and a high of -28 C.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has turned to veteran Liberal Jeremy Broadhurst to run the governing party’s bid for re-election this fall.Broadhurst, who is currently serving as chief of staff to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, is to take on new duties as national campaign director by May 13.The appointment signals an attempt to reach out to long-time Liberals, some of whom have privately grumbled that their experience has not been tapped or valued by the Trudeau team.Broadhurst is a Team Trudeau insider but he’s also got a long history with the party.He has served in senior positions with every Liberal leader, permanent and interim, since 2006, including a stint as Trudeau’s deputy chief of staff.He ran the Liberals’ war room during the 2011 campaign and, as national director of the party, played a key role in its 2015 election victory.The Canadian Press