Empowering the Working People

Dignity, Just Rewards for Labour, Protection and Equity

The Unity Labour Party Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents

The ULP government has undoubtedly been a government of, and for, the working people and the nation as a whole. Our government has addressed the condition of life of the working people and empowered them, and their children, as no government has done in our history. Among our outstanding achievements in these respects have been: Payment of $3 million in severance payments to some 1,000 former estate workers at Rabacca, Wallilabou, and Fitz Hughes, who were denied payment by the NDP government for over 17 years; payment of severance monies  similarly to distressed workers at the Banana Growers’ Association, Sanitation, Diamond Dairy, Belle Vue Arrowroot Factory, among others; minimum wage increases for all categories of workers on three occasions, and now a fourth is in train; payment between 2001 and 2011, inclusive, of hefty annual salary and wage increases, bonuses, and “reclassification monies” for public servants, teachers, nurses, police officers, and other established government employees amounting to in excess of 40 percent real salary/wage increases; recently awarding salary/wage increases for all central government employees for 2015 and 2026; maintaining the payment of annual, average increments on salaries of around 2 percent for established public servants; providing on four occasions substantial increases, in the aggregate, of all NIS benefits; reduction in direct taxation on income earners at the top and bottom rates; funding, from January 2003 going backwards, the employees’ pension at the former state-owned National Commercial Bank up to 15 years arrears at a cost of $2 million; making nursing assistants pensionable from October 27, 2015; strengthening severance pay and protection of employment laws; the removal of the criminal sanction from public servants on their freedom of speech; the creation of some 8,000 jobs since 2001, despite the horrible global economic depression, and continuing; the increase in the average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from below $10,000 to some $20,000 annually; the initiatives of the Youth Empowerment Programme (YES) and Support for Employment and Training (SET) programmes; the multiple special employment public works programmes annually, at unprecedented levels; the 100 percent housing-mortgage programme for public servants; facilitating deeper participation of the working people in national governance; and the enhanced benefits for the working people, and their children, from a bundle of government programmes including housing, education, disaster preparedness, citizen security, sports, culture, and social services generally.

In our next term, the ULP government will consolidate, extend and deepen, the many-sided policies and programmes to further empower the working people.  Specially, our government will in January 2016 pay a salary/wage increase and enhanced allowances to central government employees; increase further minimum wages for all categories of workers in the public and private sectors; enhance job creation as economic growth picks up through the general workings of the economy and the specially –targeted interventions; reducing the rate of taxation on personal income; continue to bolster a sound climate of industrial relations; further modernisation of the labour and social protection laws in the interest of the working people, including the occupational and health safety laws; and the consequential revamping of the institutional arrangements at the Labour Department; continuing to pursue socio-economic policies which create jobs, increase wealth, ensure equity and strengthen the social safety net, including the reform of the arrangements for public servants’ retirement benefits to better protect them into the future.  As our vision, philosophy, policies, programmes, and historical performances show, we are A LABOUR GOVERNMENT

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