Jamaica to Commemorate 80th Anniversary of 1938 Riots


KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica government says it will commemorate
the 80th anniversary of the 1938 labour protests and establishment of the
Labour Department during Workers’ Week that will be observed here from
May 14.

Labour Minister Shahine Robinson, said that Workers’ Week, which will be
held under the theme “Preserving Our Legacy…Unfolding Progress”, is
dedicated to honoring those who participated in and paid the ultimate
sacrifice in the 1938 labour uprising.

She said the protests symbolised the birth of collective efforts towards
better working conditions and higher wages adding that “Jamaica would not
be where we are today without the strong display of fortitude, resilience and
devotion of these workers”.

Mrs. Robinson said that the Labour Department’s achievements will also be
highlighted during the week.

“We want to include the contributions made by former Labour Ministers (as
we believe) their contributions to nation building must be recognised,” she

Among the activities planned for the week include the Ministry of Labour
collaborating with its partners to host public fora on several topics such as
‘The Modern Day Labour Movement’; ‘Reparations’; and ‘Productivity’.

The government said that commemorative ceremonies will be held at the
Workers’ Monument in the capital, the site of the 1938 riots, as well as the
Workers’ Park in Westmoreland.

“These sites reflect our historical and cultural identity as a people, and, as a
Government, we will continue to celebrate the legacy with a floral tribute
and beautification to reflect the pride and honour… they deserve,” she said.

Workers’ Week will culminate on Labour Day, Wednesday, May 23, which
will be observed under the theme ‘Ramp It Up… Fix It Up’. – CMC