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Noel Jackson hails self SVG’s ‘most objective trade unionist’

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Noel Jackson says his advocacy for the Unity Labour Party (ULP) has no bearing on his objectivity as a trade unionist.{{more}}

Jackson’s comments in an interview Tuesday, came as he was asked about persons potentially questioning his objectivity, because of his relationship with the ULP.

He had told SEARCHLIGHT that the trade unions were not seeking the advice of the National Labour Congress (NLC), the umbrella body he heads.

The unions have signed off on the NLC charter that speaks to wage, and policy negotiations, he told SEARCHLIGHT.

“But unions have been going their own way. They’re basically ignoring the NLC and using it as a convenient tool,” he said.

Asked if this could be because of concerns about his objectivity, Jackson said:

“I’ll tell you the truth. I couldn’t care less what people want [to think]. I am saying that categorically, because I know who I am. I know that Noel Jackson is the most objective trade unionist in St Vincent and the Grenadines and people who have dealt with me say that from day to day.”

Jackson asserted his right to support a political party of his choice.

“You can’t stop me from doing that. That is my right under the Constitution. That is my right as a human being. And I will embrace that right, if it cause me any discomfort, because I know I am exercising my God-given right.

“And who wants to think that because I advocate for a group, for the Unity Labour Party, that I am not being objective, that’s their beef. I could care less about that. All I know, when I exercise my daily vocation, it is on behalf of the working people of this country in all honestly, in all objectivity,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

“And, with the former administration, the same thing happened,” he said, adding that when VINLEC was “in trouble” in 1986, the union met with the company and workers went without increases and job descriptions were restructured, “to turn the company around.”

“The company has not looked back since. So, this ain’t happen yesterday or today, it happening a long time ago. But, apparently, in this country, you cannot be objective, if you are supporting something that some people don’t like. And that is the problem.

“In this country again, if some people like you, they basically lift you up, they bring you back alive if you are dead. If they don’t like you, they bury you. Well, I’ve come to recognise that and I work according to my conscience. So where you see Noel Jackson is here, my conscience is extremely clear, brother, that I am doing the right thing,” Jackson further told SEARCHLIGHT.

Jackson, who said the government offering to pay public servants half of the 3 per cent salary increase, owed since January 2011, was “not enough” but acceptable in the circumstances, said on Tuesday, he negotiated on behalf of workers at VINLEC “in accordance with what the company can afford.” (kentonchance@searchlight.vc)

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