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The main opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has called on the United Workers Party (UWP) government to rehire the dismissed National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) workers.
Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre said the SLP will not remain quiet while thousands of Saint Lucians are “made to cry as promised” by the UWP Government.
“We are in support of all the NICE workers and call on the UWP to recall the letters of dismissals until adequate employment can be found for these displaced workers,” Pierre told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
Pierre described the termination of the NICE workers as “wicked and malicious” and yet another act of “vindictiveness and victimization” by the UWP against those they perceive to be their political opponents.
Pierre said in their efforts at softening their cruelty, the UWP has attempted to paint the NICE programme as one where the Labour Party rewarded its supporters.
“This was clearly stated by the Minister of Equity when he declared that 90 % of the NICE workers were SLP supporters and there would be no political fallout; imagine the livelihoods of hardworking Saint Lucians being measured in terms of political fallout.
“No argument, whether that the programme was temporary or that it was not in keeping with the original concept, is unacceptable when thousands of honest hardworking Saint Lucians are depending on a NICE job to be able to care for their children, pay their medical bills, and buy food for their families.
If NICE was a temporary programme to be replaced when more employment is created, the question is has the UWP Government created any new employment to absorb the NICE workers or anyone for that matter?
“If NICE was no longer in keeping with the original plan, the question is whether NICE is providing valuable services to the country and whether its impact on communities and families not worthy of its continuation?” Pierre asked.