Our Readers' Opinions
August 26, 2022
Re-employ teachers without preconditions

EDITOR: I supported the government’s proposal to vaccinate all frontline workers, as protecting the community took precedent over individual rights. However, now that the threat of the pandemic is receding we must restore all individual rights by rehiring all workers who were deemed to have abandoned their jobs, without any preconditions.

We cannot boast of raising millions of dollars to support persons in the red and orange zones who were affected by an act of nature and punish another group of people who too were affected by an act of nature.

Workers did not abandon their jobs, they were given a directive by the state to not show up at their workplace. The state’s claim that they abandoned their jobs might be legally correct, but it is morally and politically incorrect.

The linking word in Unity Labour Party (ULP) is Labour and we cannot destroy the hard work of this party by making public policies to punish those who disagreed with us. Clearly we seem hell-bent in throwing out the baby with the bath water. It is time we stop listening to those voices in our echo chambers and listen to our better angels. We are always encouraged to bring out what is good and noble inside of us as we continue to build a better Caribbean civilization. What is noble or good about this decision? The workers who chose not to be vaccinated have paid a heavy financial price. Why add another layer of punishment?

I am personally surprised that a Ministry of Education with a Minister and a Chief Education officer from the bowels of the Teachers Union, will propose or support such a backward position after years of struggle to improve the lives of workers, especially teachers. Minister King and comrades of our era were the voices of workers in the party – what went wrong? I never expected you to depart from our fundamental principles to protect defend and advance the interest of workers within the ULP.

Politics is a numbers game, and a number of workers who had supported the ULP through thick or thin also chose not to take the vaccine.

Kendal Sampson