Joseph Alexander, the Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Employers Federation (SLEF), has said no to any amnesty for non-nationals working here illegally, while giving his full support to a crackdown on persons who are illegally employed here.
The crackdown was announced recently by Labour Minister, Stephenson King.
“I would support the minister 100 percent,” Alexander declared, while observing that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should have had a free movement of people initiative in place.
He recalled that it is now some 40 years since CARICOM countries should have come together to implement movement of people.
The SLEF Executive Director recalled that Saint Lucia could not wait and chose to pursue the free movement initiative with other member countries of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Alexander explained that Saint Lucia has implemented amnesties before for non-nationals working in the country illegally but the provisions have not worked.
“It is unfair that Saint Lucia would have unemployment of over 20 percent and illegal workers are coming into Saint Lucia to take jobs that are not even available,” Alexander observed.
He asserted that the stage has been reached where CARICOM has to come together on the issue of free movement of people.
“If they are not going to do that then we are not going to suffer,” the SLEF Executive Director stated.
“What is preventing CARICOM from having free movement of people?” He asked.
Alexander observed that apart from Barbados, which he said is over populated, none of the other CRICOM countries is over populated.
“So why are we afraid to have people move around? Let’s put our heads together,” he said.