PM Douglas tells world leaders to be sensitive to plight of workers and to find ways to generate jobs for the people

In this Keeth France photo, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas with hand raised leads the traditional Labour Day March on Monday 7th May.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS,MAY 7TH 2012 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says workers around the world have been badly affected by the global economic and financial crisis over the last five years.

Dr. Douglas pointed out that the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 and which is still continuing has resulted in the closure and downsizing of businesses and layoffs and a dramatic increase in the unemployment rate all over the world.

Laying the first of several wreaths at the grave sites of fallen union and political stalwarts of the Labour Movement on Monday, a public holiday to mark Labour Day, before joining thousands of workers in a march in the capital, Prime Minister Douglas, pointed to France “where the workers and the citizens of France removed the French Government (of Nicholas Sarkozy) that was in office for the last five years, because they had refused to accept the pain and the hardship that the French Government had brought upon them.”

“They have brought into being a new government – a Socialist Government (led by Francois Hollande) where we believe that the leaders of this new government would be much more sensitive to the plight of workers and citizens generally in France,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He said the change in government in France and several other countries comes in the middle of a longstanding economic debate that has engulfed countries in the Caribbean and the rest of the world for the last four years.

“Should a government during this very difficult period of adjustment as a result of the global economic and financial crisis, simply reduce budget spending or should they find other means by to stimulate growth and economic development that will generate jobs for people all over the world?,” asked Prime Minister Douglas in brief remarks.

Keeth France captures a section of the massive crowd in the Labour Day March on Monday 7th May 2012 in Basseterre.

Dr. Douglas, who is also Minister of Finance, said St. Kitts and Nevis “believes that there is the best of a balance between these two, where we have been very conscious as a government, as a people to be cognizant of the challenges that we face in balancing the budget, reducing spending, increasing revenue collection as much as possible, but at the same time, providing stimulation for economic activity for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis so that less workers would be losing their jobs.”

“In our case in St. Kitts and Nevis, the government itself has not laid off one single worker within the public service,” added Prime Minister Douglas.

He said in celebrating another Labour Day and reflecting on the plight of workers and the situation of citizens around the world, and in St. Kitts and Nevis in particular, “we recognise that the foundation that has been laid for us by those who have labored in the past in the Labour Movement, whether to ensure that the rights of workers, the dignity with which they provide their services that those will be maintained.”

“But at the same time, a Labour Government that is conscious of its responsibilities to the workers and citizens of this country and has taken on a path of economic stimulation in several different ways to ensure that our people continue to be in the employment of their employers,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He used the opportunity to salute employers and in particular those in St. Kitts and Nevis who have not reduced their workforce and those who have been in negotiations with the industrial arm of the Labour Movement – the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union – and have recognised the need for people to continue to work so that they would be able to feed their families.

“On this day, I salute both employed people and unemployed people and the employers who provide work for the employees,” said the Prime Minister.

He said his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party “continues to stand with you. The Labour Movement continues to be a vanguard in pursuing the rights of the worker and the rights and dignity of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

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