McLeod warns of greed and malice
...saddened by some in labour
THE fruits of the struggle of the labour movement are today at risk of being spoilt, Labour Minister Errol McLeod said yesterday.
McLeod, in his Labour Day message, said greed and malice have become a threat to progress.
"Having laboured in the trenches with so many, as a former trade union leader and having witnessed labour's rise from its humble beginnings to take its rightful place in the decision-making process of our country, I am now deeply saddened by the current posture of some in labour," McLeod said.
"I am troubled to observe that some have threatened to pull away and fall back at the start of the road less travelled and along which our predecessors sought to propel us."
The struggle should never resort to violence, McLeod said, adding: "My fellow countrymen, we should not, must not allow Trinidad and Tobago to become a nation of hate, spite and recrimination."
This country has so far managed to sustain a "reasonable" standard of living, the Minister said, and citizens continue to respect each other and offices of authority, despite political allegiances.
There have, however, been efforts to "drive a wedge between key institutions and important sectors of our national community", he said.
Yet, the legacy of heroes and heroines of the movement past have come under a cloud as the "Age of Individualism" has brought with it the lure of a quick dollar and has all but erased the notion of individual sacrifice for the benefit of community.
"As a nation, we owe it to our children and to all citizens of this country to stem the tide of this dangerous philosophy," McLeod said.
"The tapestry of our lives transcends our DNA, our status in society and the amount of money we are able to earn or spend. We are connected by the legacy of a people whose blood, sweat and tears gave rise to the modern worker."
McLeod said it was the need to recognise those who toiled in the past for the freedom of today that led to the creation of the Heroes Park and Museum, which is soon to be launched at Charlie King Junction in Fyzabad.
"When it is launched, this Park and Museum will allow us to consciously reflect on the personalities, contributions, ideas, commitments and social institutions that have given our lives as workers shape, purpose and meaning," he said.
McLeod said the changes necessary to take Trinidad and Tobago forward, even while preserving the values of the past, cannot be the sole responsibility of the 41 members of Parliament, but must come from the nation as a whole.