PRESIDENT OF THE Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla De Peiza is slamming trade unions for their silence and apparent “pussyfooting” when workers are being “forced” to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking at a St John branch meeting of the DLP recently at St John’s Parish Church hall, a passionate De Peiza asked: “When did our level of decency sink so low that we think one person could push an agenda to that point? The poignant and definite silence of the labour unions where they pussyfoot about this issue is utterly disappointing.
“I see the private sector standing up for their constituents. Where are those labour leaders who drag you out on the streets? Where are [the labour leaders] now for those workers who are being told, without it being put in so many words, we will not roster you for work if you are not vaccinated? We will not roster you for work if you are not tested?” she queried.
De Peiza, who is also the candidate for St Lucy in the General Election constitutionally due in 2023, told the gathering, which spilled into the church’s courtyard, that she had been fully vaccinated, but not enough was being done to inform the country about the advantages of taking the COVID-19 vaccination.
“We are not in Government, but without the resources of the state, we put the information in the way of the people. But this administration, after parading a bunch of influencers and pantomiming and showing themselves taking a vaccine as though that was enough to sway our learned, educated and our dedicated people who know how to find information, have not done so,” she declared.
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She said Government needed to change its response as there were more than 20 people in isolation who were fully vaccinated.
“When you say you have 25 persons in isolation who are vaccinated fully, who contracted COVID, you then have to have a completely different response, even if you remain convicted that vaccination is the way to get a handle on this pandemic.
“Even if you remain committed to running the economy regardless of how it affects the people; even if your main – if not sole objective – is to grabble on to the almighty dollar, even if yuh strangling the people of Barbados.
“Even if those are your stated objectives, or the objectives you have but won’t say out loud, how could you in a climate such as that even countenance forcing people to be vaccinated? Whatever happened to treating our people like human beings?” she further asked.
The fired up DLP leader again blasted the Mia Amor Mottley administration for what she called blatant disrespect on the Day Of National Significance.
She said there had been no forthcoming report from the Republican Status Transition Advisory Committee formed earlier this year and chaired by former Central Bank Governor Dr Marion Williams to manage the transition from a monarchical to a republican system.
“Somebody could tell you in April that they setting up a commission to look into the republic, and before that in the Throne Speech. [There has been] radio silence for near nine months. We have not seen a report from that Williams Commission that was set up. We have, however, seen the letter asking the private sector for their opinions on the republic,” she said.
“And then to have the temerity on the Day Of National Significance, when our minds should be on the sacrifice and the blood that was shed in 1937 by our forefathers to make sure we were never in a position for people to be forcing things down our throats again, you disrespect the people of Barbados by telling them a report from a whole generation ago that said let’s go to referendum. You come and say we’re going to become a republic on Independence Day?
“Do you recognise the full import of erasing our history? You want to bring a republic in three months to name a president and you don’t have any guiding document to tell you how to name a president, because that must be enshrined within the very constitution you say we will deal with after? If your present Government is not serving you, put them out!” she declared. (RA)