Jamaica News: Wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, is encouraging Jamaicans not to belittle the significance of blue collar jobs, noting that they are all critical to nation-building.
“In order for Jamaica to achieve its potential for prosperity, we must encourage partnerships between public and private sector, political and church organisations, between yard and foreign… and between women and men. This can only happen when we see each other as equals, when we stop disrespecting or downplaying the role of domestic and household workers,” she said.
Mrs. Holness, who is also Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, was speaking at the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year awards ceremony, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on December 18.
“When we stop disrespecting the roles of our bus drivers, construction workers, our garbage collectors; when we stop seeing those honest hard-working Jamaicans as lesser than ourselves and instead see them as equal partners in the development of Jamaica, we will, at that time, increase in our beauty, fellowship and [the] prosperity that we desire,” she said.
Mrs. Holness noted that each Jamaican has a role to play in ensuring that the country achieves its full potential of becoming a “more ordered and productive society”.
“When parents see teachers as equal partners in education, and lawyers see law-enforcement officers as equal partners in enforcing the law, we will have a more ordered and productive society.
When women and men start to see each other as equals and give each other equal respect while finding non-violent means of settling disputes, we will have a safer, happier and loving society,” she said.
She lauded GraceKennedy for saluting the memory of Dr. Heather Little-White, while recognising the work of the “awesome technicians” as partners in the homemaking process.
“They are the real specialists who allow so many of us to not only grow up in balanced environments, but who have helped us as adults to be able to function normally in our professional lives because we know all is well at home,” she said.
For his part, Group Chief Executive Officer for GraceKennedy Limited, Senator Don Wehby, said household workers are among those unsung heroes who provide a support system for persons to achieve their goals.
“We care about our household workers… . You represent the values of GraceKennedy – honesty, integrity, trust,” he said.
Mr. Michael Brown and Ms. Rosemarie Forrester were selected as the male and female champion household workers.
Named in honour of the late Dr. Heather Little-White, to recognise her years of service to the company and for training and encouraging household workers to improve their lives, the GraceKennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Award was inaugurated to recognise and reward Jamaica’s household workers.