"Arrogant Gov't Using Tatics on Police"... - Smith
Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Mr. Derrick Smith, says the temporary injunction the Government has secured from the Supreme Court to bar the police from taking industrial action not only serves to intensify the escalating wage negotiation crisis, but brings the arrogance and bullying tactics being employed by the Government into sharp focus.
Mr. Smith said: "The Government's move to compel the police back to work by way of an injunction will not improve the deepening industrial relations row and brings us no closer to restoring normality. In fact, the injunction only serves to further provoke the police and intensify the antagonism that characterizes the relationship between the police and the Government at this time. Instead of resorting to bully tactics and further oppressing the hard-working men and women of the constabulary, the Government needs to move quickly in making a better offer and ultimately arriving at a settlement."
He continued: "What I find most disturbing is that the Government sat seemingly unperturbed and allowed the situation to escalate to the point where the Police Federation felt it had no option but to mobilize its members in staging a sick-out. What is even more disturbing is that the national security minister, who, if no one else in the Government does, should have the interests of the police at heart, has expended no discernible effort in advancing their welfare, but saw it fit to resort to bullying tactics on Tuesday by calling on them to return to work. Instead of concentrating his efforts on averting the sick-out by bringing ministerial pressure to bear, Mr. Bunting should have made it his priority to advocate on their behalf and help them secure as respectable and reasonable an increase at this time."
The Opposition Spokesman said in closing: "Law enforcement in a country gripped by the scourge of crime as we are in Jamaica, does not stand to benefit from the kind of distraction and industrial turmoil that prevails at this time. Morale amongst members of the Constabulary is extremely low, and as a matter of urgency, every effort should be expended in immediately rectifying the situation. Well-thinking Jamaicans appreciate the important service provided by the police and readily recognize that the Government's provocative and antagonistic approach to addressing the current impasse is inimical to the security interests of the country."