The opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) wants the recall of termination letters that were issued to National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE) workers, until adequate employment can be found for them.
SLP leader, Philip J. Pierre told a news conference this morning that his party considers the termination of the workers at this time to be wicked and malicious.
The workers have been issued letters indicating that their contracts will not be renewed at the end of this month.
Pierre told reporters that his party is in support of all the NICE workers.
According to Pierre, the SLP believes that the terminations represent yet another act of vindictiveness and victimisation by the ruling United Workers Party (UWP) against those they perceive to be political opponents.
“In their effort at softening their cruelty, the UWP has attempted to paint the NICE programme as one where the labour party rewarded its supporters,” the SLP leader told this morning’s news conference, adding that this was clearly stated by the Minister for Equity.
Pierre quoted the minister as having said that 90 percent of the NICE workers were supporters of the SLP and there would be no political fallout.
“Imagine, the livelihoods of hardworking Saint Lucians being measured in terms of political fallout,” the opposition leader declared.
He said no argument about whether the programme was temporary or was not in keeping with the original concept is acceptable when thousands of 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 is temporary, 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?” Pierre asked.
He said if NICE was not in keeping with the original plan, the question is whether the programme is providing a valuable service to the country and the impact on the community is not worthy of the continuation of the initiative.
Pierre declared that the SLP will not remain quiet while thousands of Saint Lucians are made to cry.