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Peter Frowns on Contract Abuse

Dr. Peter Phillips sworn in as opposition leader

Photo: Dr. Peter Phillips

The despicable practice of employing people on “contract” has been a vexed issue. Dr. Peter Phillips, Opposition Leader wants to see a change.  Security guards are the main victims. Casual or temporary status for even some government employees also falls in this category, even if not exactly a perfect fit.  Some government projects do require at times temporary employees. Projects are for short time periods, as we are all aware.


We support any suggestion to improve the lot of disadvantaged workers who are told that they are contract employees and should take care of their tax and other disbursements.  Pension and other related benefits are denied these productive citizens. The courts have been asked to look at this vexed issue. We should not ask courts to make laws but to interpret them instead.  There is a level of shifting responsibility unfortunately to these workers when they are told that they must be contractors.  They are not doing seasonal work in most cases. They are not in a strong negotiating position. In most cases they just want ‘a work.’

Senior Years

Without the status and associated security, these workers could be greatly disadvantaged in their less or non productive years of say declining health …. this is a prescription for destitution. This practice of contract work can be viewed as almost or bordering on criminality.  What a pity!


The People’s National Party (PNP) has been in power for approximately 18 out of 26 years in Jamaica, so they had ample time/opportunity to amend the labour laws to give them teeth.


This level of hypocrisy or plain incompetence is distressing. The PNP and especially former  PM ‘Mamma P’ Hon. Portia Simpson Miller have always sold themselves to the electorate as “champions of the poor and putting people first”  … right!  Dr. Peter Phillips has been in the cabinet for most if not all these 18 years.  So he has serious questions to answer.  Get real my friend Dr. Phillips. As Shakespeare’s character Polonius said in Hamlet: “To thine own self be true … ” partial quote.”  You are educated enough to know this quote, even  Comrade AJ Nicholson knows same.


One does not need to have a PHD to criticize ..  or make that call.  As usual the verdict is yours. What is your perspective? This is ours.

Hopeton OConnor-Dennie, Senior International Correspondent & Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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