United National Congress MP Rudy Indarsingh is urging Government to protect the jobs of workers who have not received COVID-19 vaccinations, and to make single mothers, caregivers, the self-employed and migrant workers contribute to NIS payments to sustain NIS’ revenue stream.
Indarsingh made the calls to Government yesterday during a virtual UNC media conference. He said there must be a zero tolerance policy against employers who discriminate against employees who have not been vaccinated and such workers must be protected.
He said a vaccination requirement is an attack on the right of individual workers to make their own medical decision.
Calling for word from the Attorney General and Labour Minister, Indarsingh questioned Government’s priority on the issue and if it may be leading up to conditions that might see workers being dismissed on the basis of their vaccination status.
Indarsingh noted that health and workplace policies currently ensure workplaces are sanitised for all present.
Saying labour has taken a beating under the People’s National Movement Government, he called on labour leadership to ensure total unity, especially on workplaces and vaccination issues. Indarsingh also called for Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis to be removed as head of Government’s Tripartite Committee and be replaced with an independent person. He also called on Finance Minister Colm Imbert to say what’s being done to widen the NIS contributor base to assist NIS’ revenue stream after he claimed an estimated 120,000 lost jobs.
Indarsingh suggested incorporating contributions from migrants “working in the thousands,” single mothers, the self-employed and caregivers to help grow the fund, spread its base and sustain the country’s NIS benefit payments.
“Innovative solutions are needed,” he said.
Indarsingh added that the National Insurance Board has significant assets worth over $18 billion.
He queried whether NIS pensions would be frozen at $3,000 and the pension age increased to 67 or 65. He called for word on a daily-rated worker pension plan he said was promised for 2020.
Indarsingh accused Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of disrespecting Parliament and the public by failing to show up to answer questions in the House last Wednesday.
“He could have used Zoom as I’m doing …” Indarsingh said.
Indarsingh said it was also “scamdemic under the guise of pandemic.” He cited questions in the Auditor General’s report on grants, discrepancies on applicants being paid twice and absent evidence regarding payments.