The Minister responsible for Labour, Oscar Requeña sought to put the Labour Commissioner’s statement in context, during his appearance on Channel Five’s Open Your Eyes.  Minister Requeña argues the statement is not a scare tactic, but that the Commissioner is seeking to highlight the best interests of everyone, including citizens affected by the road blockades.

Oscar Requeña, Minister of Rural Development, Community Development, Labour and Local Government

“I believe that the government, and we have seen that the government has basically allowed our teachers and public servants to participate and express themselves in a very free and democratic manner. We all know that. We have seen many activities where the roads have been blocked and so on. Government has basically said, the police have allowed the teachers and public servants to express themselves. But I believe, the truth of the matter is the general public also has some serious concerns. We have people wanting to get to work. It is very important that they can get to work. We also have people who may be sick. We had a situation where I believe we had a pregnant mother who almost gave birth on the road. So these are serious concerns. And while we understand and appreciate the concerns that teachers and public servants have, government has a responsibility to overall look at the welfare and best interest of everybody. And it is in that context that our Labour Commissioner sent out that release basically saying, you are well within your rights, but we cannot continue to have our highways and roads being blocked. And particularly the whole issue of COVID-19 where we have seen that there have been huge congregations. No social distancing and it is cause for concern.”

Channel 5