My fellow Bahamians.
Today, on Sir Randal Fawkes Labour Day, we remember and pay tribute to the heroes and heroines of the Labour Movement on whose proverbial shoulders we proudly stand.
Further, we have a moral responsibility to continue the noble legacies of luminaries such as Sir Randal Fawkes and Sir Clifford Darling and we do so today.
It is important to note that in these challenging economic times, some employers use these extraordinary circumstances to exploit the economic vulnerabilities of our workers. This is a betrayal of the principles, the initial intent and the spirit on which the labour movement was built and thrived for decades.
Given the economic fallout from Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is in times like these that Bahamians need a caring and fair minded government to stand up and stand in the gap for workers and ensure that social and economic justice prevail.
This FNM government continues to fail the Bahamian workers in these extraordinary circumstances where political leadership is greatly needed.
This is regrettable.
The suspension of critical rights and benefits enjoyed by workers and enshrined in the law and the Prime Minister’s casual approach to the protracted closing of Club Mediterranean in San Salvador are just two examples of this failed political leadership.
I remind all and sundry that the Burma Road Riots on 1 and 2 June 1942, that seminal event that gave birth to the labour movement, were the result of a gross violation of these fundamental principles that are at the foundation of our very being – our dignity and our humanity.
So on the 79th anniversary of the Burma Road Riots and the 60th anniversary of the Sir Randal Fawkes Labour Day, the Progressive Liberal Party stands with the workers of this country.
We note that many of the hard fought freedoms we enjoy today were made possible through the partnership of the labour movement and the Progressive Liberal Party. We cherish this longstanding relationship and renew our commitment to solidarity, a new Memorandum of Understanding, social and economic justice for all as we work together in good faith and in a spirit of mutual respect to build this country we love so much.
On behalf of my wife, Ann Marie, officers and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, I wish the workers of our beloved Bahamas a Happy 60th Sir Randal Fawkes Labour Day.