No more slave camps under my watch – Minister Hamilton

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Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton addressing Councillors of the Lethem Township

Minister of Labour, Joseph Hamilton says there will no more slave camps while he is head of the Labour Ministry. He made the remark while addressing Councillors of the Lethem Township on a recent trip to Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine).

“Under my watch, the rights of workers will be protected. Nobody will set up slave camps anymore in this country,” Minister Hamilton said.

He added trained staff must be stationed at outlying regions to ensure workers’ rights are protected.

“My intention is to ensure that [in] every region outside of Region Four we have at least two Labour Officers, two Occupation, Safety and Health Officers, a Board of Industrial Training Officer, a Co-op Officer and an Officer for the Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency,” the Minister said.

This is necessary, he said, to address a litany of concerns, including poor working conditions and salaries for employees.

“How you deal with it is you have Officers policing it. Not from Georgetown, but from the region, and my intention is to ensure people are trained from this region and sent back to the region to work. I would not implant no coastlander on any hinterland region. The people who will work for the Ministry of Labour in these positions will be persons who are resident of the regions,” Minister Hamilton said.

Officers may be in the various regions by latest June 2021 after the passage of the 2021 Budget. Additionally, the Minister said that officers will have to learn a foreign language, including Spanish, to effectively carry out their duties.