At the beginning of this historic
conference there are five 
brief points I would like to make by way of introduction.
First, unemployment is not the fault nor
it is the wish and desire
of our party, our government.
In fact, as all comrades here know, we
regard now and always have
regarded unemployment as being a disease, a curse, a blight and a water
important and scarce human resources.
The second point is that unemployment for
us in Grenada is a
relatively new experience for our people, an experience created by
The Siboneys, the Caribs and the Arawaks,
the first inhabitants
of our soil, all worked in those days because if you did not work you
Likewise, under slavery, one had to work
under conditions of
degrading, criminal brutality and exploitation.
One had to work under the whip.
It is only when slavery had ended and
capitalism came around that
we began to see unemployment emerging in our country, and that came
historically largely because agriculture was the mainstay of the
the agricultural land was owned by a very small minority and all the
the people had to find work on a few huge agricultural estates.
The third point is that our people have
had a long tradition of
working, and working hard and working honourable.
Our people have been accustomed to work
and working in the best
tradition of hard, dedicated work.
All of this can be seen in many different
We can see it certainly in the fact that
today when we look
around at our own historic landscape and we look at Fort Rupert and
Frederick, as we look at the tunnel, as we look at the network of roads
around the hills of our country, we know that it was our forefathers
all those things.
It was their sweat, it was their blood, it
was their labour,
their sacrifice which produced all of those historic monuments and
networks of roads.
We can also see this evidence of hard work
by our people in terms
of the work our people have done in several metropolitan centres,
London and England as a whole, in Canada, in the United States, our
have migrated to these countries have in fact done tremendous work and
case of England it is our people who are responsible to a great extent
maintaining the transport and health systems in this country.
The fourth brief point, comrades, is that
there is more
unemployment today in the capitalist world than in the past 50 years.
The capitalist today is going through a
major crisis and one of
the major side effects of this crisis in this massive, unbelievable
It is estimated that today in the
capitalist world, there are 25
million people out of work in the 24 most heavily-developed capitalist
And it is also estimated that by the end
of this year that figure
will become 30 million people out of work.
In other words, some 300 times the entire
population of our
country are out of work in the capitalist world, and as you know
imperialist propaganda attempts to hide and distort this reality.
They try to pretend that there is no
unemployment, or when they
admit unemployment as they are more and more forced to do now, they say
only what they have always said that unemployment is necessary,
they have moved to the ludicrous extend of trying to blame unemployment
national liberation struggles worldwide.
These people try to blame their
unemployment on what is happening
in El Salvador, in Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, in Mozambique, Angola, in
That is the extent of the desperation that
the capitalist world
The fifth point, comrades, is that in
Grenada we allow no
concealment, we allow no secrecy, we allow no lies to fool or mystify
We come before our people openly, as
always admitting this
problem of unemployment and pointing out that together as government
we have to find a solution to unemployment and that is why, comrades,
this historic conference today.
That is why today, we continue this whole
task of finding a mass
solution for ending unemployment, trying to fight unemployment through
In settling ourselves the huge task of
solving our traditional
and inherited unemployment problem, we can allow ourselves no brambling.
For because unemployment for us is a mass
problem, we are
determined to find a mass solution to it.
The people themselves, in particular the
must be fully involved and engaged in finding the remedies that will
joblessness once and for all in our society.
So when we began this historic process of
our first move was to organise an unemployment census which started on
this year .
This was followed by a series of parish
conferences on the issue;
first of all in St. Patrick’s, then St. John’s and St. Mark’s followed
Andrew’s, St. George’s, St. David’s and finally Carriacou.
In broaching the problem in this
participatory way, we knew that
we were only beginning the first steps of a long process that could not
completed overnight, or in a few weeks.
Democratic solutions, as we have learned
repeatedly during the
Revolution, do not happen that way.
As an honest revolutionary and democratic
government, we cannot
give unproductive jobs to our unemployed simply for the sake of giving
jobs and then watch them dig holes in the road and fill them up again,
declare that we have finished with unemployment.
Neither do we have the economic capacity
nor the desire to serve
out a weekly dole or freeness to the unemployed.
Comrades, we can only honestly seek to
solve unemployment by
seeing it in the context of economic construction, of the drive for
production – of the necessity to work harder in order to build our
So any solution that we create must have
the capacity of
contributing to production, so that other jobs are created, and
productive drive we make must throw up more and more possibilities of
In short, each job we create must generate
dozens more jobs.
Comrades, unemployment is both your
concern and your problem as
well as a national problem, so you especially are the people to attend
In the same way that we embarked upon an
and participatory method in organising and framing our national budget
became a true People’s Budget, we are taking the same road, already
us by our budget process, in seeking to resolve the massive problem of
For we want a people’s solution, a
people’s remedy, a people’s
cure that will come out of the very guts and experience of our masses,
which will therefore be a guarantee of its acceptability and success.
So this is why we are here today comrades,
and this is why our
process has brought us to this point.
For by the end of the day we shall arrive
at no magic formula,
let us be very clear about that.
What today will serve to achieve will be a
pooling of ideas and
information, a discovery of common ground between us, an itemization of
insights and genius that our people have for creative ideas to solve
problems; and a definition of the precise nature and dimensions of the
against which we are all fighting.
Our struggle is continuing today along the
road of the process of
solution, so we must not think of today as a last act or finale.
We are merely taking another step, but it
will be a giant step, a
massive step because it is a step being taken by all of us together
minds focused and clenched round the same evil, and our wills
determined to finish with it forever in our country.
Comrades, during the period of 1970s our
economy was unable to
create jobs for our people.
The economy lacked the capacity as we
exported our primary
products which only used up our foreign exchange.
To get the extra value and benefit, what
was needed was to
process our primary products such as cocoa, nutmegs and coffee, and
process our fruits, vegetables and spices.
However, the Gairy regime did not think of
this, they were not
interested in changing the 400 years of misery our people had suffered.
First under slavery and then under
capitalism the majority owned
nothing but their ability to work, and they were forced to work at a
Comrades, let us look at some of the
figures of the labour force
during the period of the 1970s under the Gairy regime.
In 1970, the estimated unemployment was
approaching 30% of the
total work force.
This was so despite the so-called boom in
the economy during the
Of course, as the Gairy dictatorship
displayed its total
incompetency in handling the economy, the situation worsened between
1975 as all production fell, and unemployment increased tremendously.
AFTER MARCH 13TH,
Thus by the time of the March 13th
50% of the total work force could not find anything to do.
The economy had not changed much over the
previous 400 years in
terms of providing productive employment for our people.
This was even more destructive for our
women and young people
under 25, where the brunt of the unemployment fell.
When the people took power in 1979, the
Government pursued its previous objectives of diversifying the economy
processing its primary products, while always in our minds was the
productive employment – not just any employment, but productive
for our people.
Our first priority was to increase the
employment of women,
especially our young women who were the hardest hit.
Our first step n that direction was to
decree equal pay for equal
work in the state sector for all our women.
This was not employment in itself, but it
brought equality and
justice to women by ending discrimination against them.
And since then, on a progressive basis,
more and more women have
been brought into the work force.
Today we have women workers at the Airport
Project, women tractor
drivers, more women in the National Commercial Bank, in the Fisheries
in the Agro-Industrial Plant, forming micro-co-operatives, etc.
Our other main priority was to provide
jobs for the thousands of
Here we ensured that whenever new jobs
were opened up that the
unemployed youth were among the first to be placed.
It was this conscious policy that allowed
thousands of youth to
be employed in the International Airport project, on the roads, in the
and revitalized agricultural state farms, in fisheries and so on.
Together with this, we embarked on a
nation-wide campaign in
1980, our “Year of Education and Production” to create more jobs
getting our youths to work co-operatively on the idle lands in our
Our great slogan than was ‘IDLE LANDS +
IDLE HANDS = AN END TO
This campaign achiever reasonable success
with the result that
some 20 agricultural cooperatives, with almost 200 members were
with the assistance of the National Co-operative Development Agency
an agency established by the Revolution to promote co-operatives.
And of course this programme of 1980 is
continuing with a bang
this year with our Land reform and Youth Employment Programmes, which
confidently expect to make a major contribution to our twin goals of
production while providing more jobs.
Certainly, the enthusiasm of the 50-odd
youth present at las
Thursday’s formal opening of the new La Sagesse Agricultural Training
leaves us in absolutely no doubt that the youth of our country are
‘Fight Unemployment through Production’, in the firm conviction that
is the only REAL SOLUTION.
THE 1981 UNEMPLOYMENT CENSUS
The Unemployment Census was conducted in
April and May of this
year and aimed at identifying all the unemployment in the state.
This is, all those who at the time of the
census had no jobs.
It was also intended to identify part-time
workers; that is
persons who on average worked less than two days a week and season
that is those who worked for three consecutive months within the
The census identified 7,040 such persons,
including 6,640 who
were fully unemployed, 229 part-time and 171 seasonal workers.
The majority of the total unemployed was
found in St. Andrew’s
with 27½%, followed by St. George’s with 27%, St. Patrick’s had 15%,
David’s with 13% and the other three parishes making up the other 17.5%.
The census also confirmed another point
which was generally
known: that is that most of those unemployed are young people.
About 64% of the persons met in the census
were between 16 and 25
This percentage got smaller as the age
increased – only 18% of
the total number of unemployed, season workers and part-time workers
between 26-35 years, only 8% between 36 and 45 years and only 3% of the
were over 55 years.
52% of those actively seeking jobs are the
16-25 year olds with
12% not seeking jobs, probably because of the frustration experienced
they saw their colleagues experience.
The other 36% of this age group, the 16-25
year olds, are either
season workers or part-time.
Still, they also need to find full-time
jobs to ensure security
and a better standard of living.
The greatest number of unemployed by far,
were found to be
72% of 4,781 persons were females, and
coupled with the fact that
most of the unemployed are between the ages of 16 and 25, we see a real
that these young women of our society face.
The parish which registered the largest
percentage of female
unemployed, happened to be Carriacou, where nearly 90% of the total
unemployed counted in Carriacou were female.
Comrades, the data also indicated that we
are still trapped to
some extent within the socio0historical trap of sex discrimination,
find it easier to get a job.
Although the male/female ratio in the
population is roughly 1 to
1, we found that generally the split between male and female in the
pool is 1 to 2; that is, for every one man unemployed, two women are
The ratio between the sexes in relation to
the number of persons
seeking jobs suggests to us that for every one man seeking a job, there
This is in line with the unemployment
breakdown; however, when we
examine persons not seeking jobs, we see that there are three times as
our women as men who have given up the search.
In terms of the educational background of
the unemployed, season
workers and part-time workers, less than 2% had no education whatsoever.
Over 70% of the comrades have gone beyond
class four and up to
secondary education but did not go to secondary schools.
We came across 18% of these comrades who
had been to secondary
schools – of course, we employ all our university trained cadres.
When consulted about which sector they
would like to work in,
whether state, private, co-operative or self-employed, the vast
comrades preferred the state sector, and in all parishes between 68 and
said they would prefer to work in the state sector.
Therefore, although 42% of the comrades
displayed an interest in
areas which are not directly productive, such as services and commerce,
remind comrades today that jobs can only be created if we first produce
that is agricultural products, nectars, jams juices, fish, etc.
Only then, after each production, can we
talk about employing
people in the other economic sectors which are not directly productive.
A NEW CONCEPT OF WORK
Comrades, we have already spoken of the
curse and brutality of
our labour and the class of parasites it served in the days before we
our power and unfurled the flag of freedom in every village across our
For March 13th,
1979, as in so many things, gave us a
new direction, a new cause, a new concept of work.
For as soon as our land became ours, as
soon as we had severed
its beauty from the ugly grip of the dictator, we knew that work itself
and must take on a new meaning for us.
From being an alienated act of hate and
despair, work suddenly
had the promise of being an act of love and fulfillment.
From being drudgery it began to take the
shape of joy.
We began go see the extraordinary
spectacle of many hundreds of
our people from every village in our land, coming out in happiness to
voluntary and unpaid acts of work, in their own time and most usually
We began to see drains and culverts
cleared that had been clogged
up by twenty-five years of sewage and Gairyism.
We saw roads repaired by the collective
work of neighbours,
overhanging branches chopped down, bridges built and walls decorated
colours and words of freedom.
We saw the parents of our school children
and the children
themselves taking over their schools while their teachers discussed the
of education in our country at the National Teachers’ Seminar in their
during January 1980, and we saw the parents contributing in that one
a million dollars’ worth of free labour, of truly free labour.
We saw the House Repair Programme
depending on the voluntary help
of neighbours of the homeowners and getting it too.
We saw the maroon [traditional voluntary
act of collective work]
coming alive again in Grenada!
A new attitude had developed towards work.
Work changed its very nature as the
Revolution revealed its true
meaning for us.
For through our voluntary community work
brigades and all the
sessions of collective work that were carefully, or sometimes
organised, we were realising a truth that was new to us – that work is
liberator, work is what unites us, builds us, develops us and changes
Without work we go nowhere, we achieve
When our work is against us, only serving
others who exploit and
scorn us, we fall into despondency and frustration.
But with work on our side we build a new
world, a world which
will truly serve the workers of the world.
Comrades, perhaps I could make this point
clearly and forcibly by
quoting to you the words of a man who was with us in Grenada just a few
ago, as a member of the delegation of President Samora Machel of
For travelling with this great man were
other outstanding men
with a whole history of struggle and victory inside them.
One such Mozambican leader, who
unfortunately we did not hear
speak publicly as the visit was so short, was Comrade Sergio Vieira,
travelled with the delegation as Minister of Agriculture.
This comrade is recognised in his own
country as a
prominent poet and thinker, and he is the
author of a particularly widely read and influential pamphlet setting
ideas for the creation of new men and women in his country Mozambique
liberated mentalities, called The New Man
is a Process.
In the following way, the people
themselves are creating their
own future and constructing their own economy.
creates and liberates.
is not punishment.
a person works there should be some result to his work.
can never be a game!
has to have a concrete result and have a social benefit.
which has no benefit is not work.
a demoralizing action.
Comrades, there is much to be learned in
these words which is
very relevant to our situation here in Grenada.
For here too, our work must have a
concrete result, and that
concrete result must be more and more production, which itself will
and more jobs.
That is why we are framing our slogan in
this way: Work in the
mother of production, production produces/creates/throws up work!
For we can allow ourselves no
non-productive work, no joke work,
no disguised unemployment – for our task too in tackling unemployment
unmask that and tear away the disguise.
Production is both the cause and product
of our work, and there
can be no space for work which is merely ornamental or which stands on
sidelines of development like an interested spectator on the roads,
the bands pass at Carnival.
WORK. THE TRANSFORMER
Why are we so concerned about unemployment?
Why do we see it as such an evil, such a
negative force in our
It is because we believe in the future and
because we know that
our people are builders of the future – and because we know that if we
work, then we can’t build.
We are working for ourselves and each
other in Grenada now, and
most importantly, we are working for our children, all our children.
So we believe that every single Grenadian
should enjoy that right
and responsibility to be a builder and constructor of that future.
While a Grenadian remains unemployed, it
means that he or she is
denied the right to build that future, to participate in the
that planned and real civilisation that we are mapping out for our
our children’s children.
We would not deny anybody in our country
that right and
responsibility, which is why we believe so strongly in the right to
why we have to set out on this long process to ensure that every single
our people can proudly say: ‘I am the builder of Grenada. I am part of
fuel that will drive my country forward’.
For when we understand the nature of the
dignity that the Revolution
is brining to our people, we see that the right to stand up as a
person, the right to achieve excellence in work, the right to be
that excellence, the right to be exemplary in punctuality, efficiency
productivity – all these are the new rights that the Revolution has
with respect to work, rights that are a part of the great treasure that
And it is these rights which contribute to
the new nation of
dignity and independence that our people are proudly demonstrating
Unemployment, therefore, is an attack on
that dignity, but more
importantly it is an attack on our resolve to achieve greater
will give us the true material basis for that dignity.
Unemployed workers mean less land under
the plough, less
processing, less manufacturing, less exporting, and therefore, less
exchange, less ability to buy those things we really need from abroad
tractors, medicines and vital spare parts.
And yet with all the loss in production
that unemployment brings,
we still have to feed the unemployed, to care for them, to educate
children, to hospitalise them when they are sick.
Like anyone else they still need housing
and recreation, and they
must still participate in and take the social wage that is there for
Although, in short, they are not
producers, they are still
consumers, and so they are inevitably taking out more than they are
although this may be no fault of their own.
For work is a great transformer.
Not only does work change the material
reality around us – like
it created a new city in Dresden in the GDR, like it is making concrete
dream at Point Salines – but in doing this it transforms the human
himself, or herself.
For the serious application to the tasks
of work, the discipline
and sense of fulfillment that it brings, the sense of pride and purpose
contributing to building a new world – all this in itself creates a new
mentality and a new type of person that must live in, contribute and
strengths to bear to that same new society he is helping to create.
THE FRUIT OF NEW JOBS
Comrades, we in Grenada are struggling to
be part of that new
world, and to build it we must ensure that there is work for everybody,
nobody is excluded.
At the moment we are a long way from that
situation for between
21 and 22% of our people are still unemployed, which means that some
our brothers and sisters are not being allowed to make their full
It is towards these Grenadians that we are
resolving to reach
over the next two to three years, to ensure work for all, and thus push
productive capacity to create the possibilities of more and more
benefits and a
greater social wage for all of us.
For the solution to unemployment lies only
We still have over seven thousand [7,000]
acres of idle and
under-utilised land, and every two acres of this land can create at
new job in agriculture for our people.
This will cause the creation of a minimum
of another three
thousand, five hundred [3,500] jobs in agriculture alone.
Then we need to examine the prospects of
the greater production
that cultivated lands will bring, and the fruit of more jobs that will
from that production, for example in the agro-industrial sector with
production of more mangoes, more guavas, more bananas, more soursops,
The boxing plants will need for workers
for more boxes for more
bananas, the greater volume of fruit will need more transport, more
more drivers, the docks will need more warehousemen, more stevedores,
All in all, the rise in production caused
by the new jobs we
create by putting more land under cultivation, will take us towards a
one-job-per-acre situation, and in the case of bananas, one and a half
If we include the further jobs created in
all the sectors
connected to and spinning off the production from the newly cultivated
get 7,000 acres creating over 7,000 new jobs!
Comrades, this is why we say again work if
the mother of
production, production produces/creates/throws up work; and we can only
and win the battle against unemployment through greater production.
In addition to our agricultural thrust, we
shall see the
expansion of our fishing fleet, and its greater efficiency through the
radio equipment that we shall soon be receiving from our friends in the
We shall also be encouraging the expansion
for further light
industries, particularly in the area of garment-making.
For we need to turn resolutely towards new
forms of work and new
methods of production, in order both to diversity our products and
our type of work.
All this will need new and requisite forms
of education and
training, something we have already successfully started with our
For what we have seen in the fisheries
sector is that our
training facilities have developed alongside our growing capacity to
fish and process more fish.
All this growth has begun to create a
genuine fisheries industry
in our country, which is not only contributing to feed our people and
to give us some more valuable export earnings, but it is, of course,
more and more jobs in that sector.
And this growth has caused many of our
people to take fishing far
It is causing our fishermen to look at
themselves in a more,
organised way and to combine together and form fishing co-operatives.
For a spirit of co-operation and working
seriously together in a
planned and organised way, will always cause the creation of more jobs
dog-eat-dog, violent individualist competition of the capitalist way of
production, which might have a few winners, but at the expense of many
And the worst casualties are the rejected
unemployed, those who
are left behind in the race to dominate, crush and push out of the way.
A LEGACY OF DISCOURAGEMENT
We would all know, comrades, that in our
country we have
inherited from our particular history many reasons and factors which
Conditions of work were so bad under the
dictatorship that many
workers actually preferred unemployment to staying in lowly-paid jobs
they were exploited not only by their employers, but also through a
whereby they paid a large proportion of their salary as dues to a
union, whose leader only used its funds to build his own hotels, host
parties at his Evening Palace and lay up accounts for his inevitable
flight to the heart of imperialism!
Who would prefer, if one was able, to drop
out of such work, and
perhaps fall back on some gardening, or sewing or a little washing and
or whatever you could get?
Also in Grenada we have a legacy of
unwillingness among many of
our people to work the land.
Again, conditions historically have been
so bad on many of the
private estates that our people have always identified agriculture in
that particular form of production.
What is significant now, however, is that
the Revolution has
introduced new forms of production, organisation and management in
land, in particular through co-operatives, whereby organisations and
are participatory and collective, and whereby the co-operators are
themselves and for each other.
This democratisation of agriculture has
clearly attracted many of
our young people back to the land, and of course NACDA guarantees to
resources to assist serious co-operative ventures to start and
this is as true in the agricultural sector as it is in other areas.
In addition, colonialism continually
floated the white collar in
the dreams of our people, so that work was valued in how far you could
from the land, rather than how well you could work it.
Non-productive work in an office was seen
as the ideal, with the
desk, the paper pad and the pan far more worthy of respect and
the hoe and the fork – and colonial education was based on this premise.
The six sizes and shapes of Henry the
Eighth’s wives became more
important than our own size and shapes of our bananas or mangoes.
Little Miss Muffet sitting on a tuffet
became more significant
that the sister who sat on a wooden staff cracking nutmegs, and Sir
Drake’s pirate boat – The Golden Hind - took precedence over our
schooners and fishing
boats from Windward, L’Esterre, Petit Martinique or Gouyave.
This is why education for us now must mean
production too, and
this is why we place so great a value upon education, and why we have
Centre of Popular Education at the centre of our educational thrust to
the cultural and skills levels of our people.
So that when the time for more specific
work training comes, then
they can be more ready, more able and more receptive to commit
themselves to it
and to succeed.
This is also why we have resolved to
integrate real production
into the curriculum of our schools, so that they cease to be centres of
irrelevant education that take our children’s heads out of their own
earth and send them chasing after Brooklyn, Toronto or London, but
become genuine production centres where all the growing brain power of
youth and students is focused upon how to produce more for our country
thus know how to find more work and prosperity for our people
PRODUCTION THE KEY
For we have inherited an economy that
doesn’t teach us to educate
ourselves – and those are confines and walls that we must break
they force us towards importing rather than producing.
But the reality is that if we don’t
produce then we can’t import,
and so our emphasis must all the time be on what else can we grow
what else can we make ourselves, what else can we process ourselves and
much of all these things can we consume ourselves, rather than all
important items that give our economy such daily licks and blows.
For while we depend upon other countries’
products, we are line
cast-asides and orphans in the world, motherless children without our
For dependency in any form is very
dangerous for us, and can
jeopardize any progress we may be making.
When we import equipment and machinery
from abroad, we must be
able to maintain and repair it and this again shows the crucial need
To have foreign equipment obtained at
great cost sitting idle
until a mechanic or technician from its country of origin can come and
it, is another sure sign of our dependency and underdevelopment,
which can only be changed by permanent training, the acquisition of new
and the mastering of the science and technology that we use on a daily
Comrades, during our People’s Budget
process of January, February
and March, we spoke about the need to eliminate what we call disguised
unemployment labour which receives a wage but which is unproductive,
wasted, which does not create wealth or contribute to development.
And our call was echoed by our people all
over the land in the
parish and zonal councils on the economy leading up to Budget Day.
This disguised unemployment was and
remains a major concern of
our people because they recognise that the provision of unproductive
through political patronage is part of the destructive and wasteful
and neo-colonial legacy inherited by the Revolution, designed to keep
us in a
state of permanent poverty.
Our people have correctly pointed out that
some sectors of the
public service are over-loaded, that some of these workers could be
placed somewhere else, that they should be re-deployed in a productive
potentially productive sector.
For it is our working people who have to
pay the cost and carry
the weight of disguised unemployment in the same way that they have to
the totally unemployed.
Our disguised unemployed too, need to be
freed from the mockery
of work they are presently engaged in, so that they can make a real and
contribution to production and national development.
In three short years, the Revolution has
made it possible for
thousands of hitherto unemployed sisters and brothers to make such a
contribution because the Revolution has created countless
Formerly unproductive workers in the
Ministries of Construction
and Health, who have been redeployed on roads and other new projects
Sandino block and tile making plant and the expanded telephone system,
have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the production
In 1982 the forward movement to rid the
economy of unemployment
Despite critical problems, we have still
been able to create jobs
in our economy and re-deploy people.
For example, in the Ministry of Health we
have created over
seventy  new jobs, although the critical budgetary problems have
necessary to re-deploy people.
To give a concrete example of this
redeployment into areas more
productive, we can also use the Ministry of Health.
The hospitals are now producing food for
For example, instead of laying off workers
at Princess Alice Hospital,
in the month of May alone the hospital’s farms produced 510 pounds of
which not only made this hospital self-sufficient in cabbages for May,
allowed them to sell 180 pounds of cabbages to the General Hospital.
The General Hospital itself is also
producing – re-deploying its
workers to produce, there are 100 banks of potatoes now, and during May
produced 50 pounds of cucumbers, 8 pounds of lettuce, 25 pounds of
30 pounds of callaloo, 25 pounds of green peas, among other products,
hospital has produced to preserve the jobs of workers and produce
Richmond Hill and Princess Royal are also
agricultural production to save money and also more and more so to
those workers, thus saving their jobs.
Comrades, a tour around the country on any
working day would
reveal a startling sight that could convince even the scientists, the
and the doubt Thomases.
What is taking place today is that in
every parish in our land,
involving hundreds of our people who were once jobless, is the most
activity geared towards social and economic development that our nation
ever known in its history.
What you can see on such a tour are dozens
of capital projects
that have and will continue to create jobs for masses, projects which
hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of dollars.
Let me give you a few examples.
So far this year, over $3,660,000 has been
spent on our
international airport, a project where 250 Grenadian workers find
and productive employment.
Over 100 workers are now producing jams,
jellies, nectars, pepper
sauce and other food products at our new Agro-Industrial Plant in True
In Corinth, St. David’s and Bonaire, St.
Mark’s dozens of workers
are productively employed in the construction of two new primary
With seven  hotels and restaurants, the
Corporation, a production of the Revolution, today employs over 100
while our new fishing fleet and fishing company has given employment to
of our people.
In our sister isle of Carriacou over $1
million dollars is being
spent in bringing electricity to the entire island and $264,000 has
out already this year for the continuing resurfacing of roads.
In Petit Martinique a new $24,000 health
centre is going up, the
Marketing and Importing Board outset is expanding and an
project has just begun.
All this, of course, means new jobs have
been created for the
people of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
But, comrades, perhaps the most dramatic
evidence of this stepped
up economic activity can be seen in our massive road construction and
resurfacing programme presently underway all over our country.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of
Agriculture and the
Productive Farmers Union, 32 miles of feeder roads have been laid with
sub-base since July, 1981 and another 20 miles will be prepared before
million project is completed.
Here alone 240 jobs have been created and
labour has been provided by patriotic farmers all over the country who
understand what these feeder roads would mean for opening up new lands
But this is not the only feeder road
In face $7.5 million in funds provided by
Development Bank will go towards the complete paving of 15½ miles of
roads in our agricultural parishes of St. Andrew’s and St. David’s.
This project currently employs 56 workers,
while 60 more have
found employment on the $560,000 Westerhall Redgate project and the
Davey Project Road in St. Patrick’s.
Of course, not to be forgotten is the huge
Eastern Main Road that
by next year will link St. George’s to Grenville with a beautiful new
Over 100 of our people are now employed on
And comrades, we can continue this list
but time on this occasion
does not allow for a lengthy catalogue.
However, we cannot overlook at this time
one particular project
with direct bearing to the strengthening agriculture, the motor of our
and which is indicative of the Revolution’s new thrust to create
I make mention of the La Sagesse
Agricultural Training Centre
which opened last week with 50 students who will learn a wide range of
agricultural sciences and ways of applying theory to practice in the
At the end of this training these students
will become workers in
agricultural co-operative and elsewhere in agriculture.
Plans are also underway to open three more
such training centres
which will teach 200 additional students by the end of this year, and
will bring 500 acres of productive land under cultivation as part of
practical application of the scientific skills acquired in the
Comrades, there is no doubt that the
revolution has created jobs,
and not just any job, but job that are directly productive, real jobs
produce goods and services, thousands of new jobs in three years.
In fact, more jobs than were created in
the first 9 years of the
By the beginning of 1981, the total number
of unemployed had
fallen to about 28% of the work force.
Thus jobs had been found for about 22% of
unemployed along with others who were just joining the labour force.
So our successes in the field of
employment have been impressive
and unprecedented in the history of Grenada and the English-speaking
A DEMOCRATIC SOLUTION TO UNEMPLOYMENT
But we must never rest on our victories.
We must never grow complacent.
The relentless struggle against
So comrades, what is our was forward from
here in the mighty task
before us? – to remove unemployment from our country.
We have started a process which is
democratic in nature, which
will involve all of you here and thousands of other Grenadians.
For in fighting and organising to end
unemployment, we shall be
using centrally our democratic structures and mass organisations.
They are our problem-solving
infrastructures and our means of
mass consultation, and just as they provided the organisational basis
making of our People’s budget, so they shall form the structures
we shall finish with unemployment.
This is because we believe that people’s
participation is a must,
is essential to solve the people’s problems.
If we attempted to solve unemployment by
with no popular involvement, we are convinced not only then such a
be wrong and unacceptable to our people but that it would and could not
because the most important people in this entire venture – the
themselves – would not be involved.
So we are calling upon the mass
organisations, the National Youth
Organisation, the National Women’s Organisation, the trade unions, the
Productive Farmers’ Union to be deeply and integrally a part of the
this national campaign against unemployment.
Your members are involved in the problem.
So it must be your task and responsibility
to contribute towards
finding the solution.
We see it as your task primarily to help
in the organisation of
the unemployed so that they can find work themselves with the backing
of the mass
We envisage that your members will seek to
identify the possible
areas of projects alongside your unemployed brothers and sisters as
helping to mobilise support for projects already existing in their own
or other parts of their areas.
In addition, the mass organisations must
assist their unemployed
comrades in the formation of co-operatives, and lend their
expertise and experience to those comrades interested in the
but who are inexperienced in the actual day-to-day organisation,
and maintenance work necessary for the planning and efficient running
The mass organisations must be firm and
reliable means of support
and infrastructure to the unemployed, must be there at all time to lend
comradely help to the comrades’ search for work.
In particular, and here the role of the
trade unions is
especially paramount, our mass organisations must continue to encourage
unemployed comrades to gain as much education and training as they can
as well as stimulate their own educational and training schemes, in
increase the technical capacity of our unemployed to make them more
future workers, as well as raising their general grasp of necessary
agricultural and industrial skills – so that when they begin to work,
already have a attributes and abilities that will make them more
the building of our production and economy.
THE ROLE OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR
The private sector, too, has a significant
role to play in this
great challenge to finish with unemployment in our country.
We hope and trust that they also, along
with the mass
organisations and Trade Unions, will keenly contribute their long
and practised expertise to this vital process for our people and the
all of us.
At this stage in the development of our
economy, it is generally
true to say that our private sector has, over the years, achieved
levels in economic and managerial organisation than we have presently
Clearly, the brothers and sisters in the
private sector are
veterans in this respect, and have a lot to teach us and give us.
They are in no way left out of our
economic thrust and strategy,
and we see them taking a crucial and responsible role in our present
against unemployment for we are on the same side.
Within the ranks of the private sector,
many, too, are
practitioners and businessmen with sympathizers and significant
raising and mobilising funds for schemes and investments that will
jobs and thus create more production, and we welcome them into the
heart of our
strategy to cure our country of joblessness – for we are all doctors in
We can see, for example, in the area of
how great a contribution is being made to fight unemployment by the
sector for this particular industry is highly labour-intensive and is
many jobs for our people – particularly our sisters for as we have
women are the principal sufferers from the disease of unemployment in
We feel strongly that similar strides
could also be made by the
private sector in the area of shoe-making, wood-working, furniture and
food-processing – all of which would both cut down on our import bills
provide jobs for many of our people through direct production.
So comrades from the private sector, we
are asking for your
contributions and your advice and suggestions, for you are and always
been, in the mainstream of creation in our country, and we would
this to continue.
THE PARENTS OF PROGRESS
So these are the basic points I wanted to
make to you this
As you continue in your crucial work, I am
confirmed yet again in
our Grenadian belief in collective consultation, collective
collective wisdom which always emerges from assemblies such as these.
For with so many proud, independent and
free minds exchanging and
combining, giving and receiving, criticizing and deciding, together and
together every day, every week, every month, we are creating an
and democratic unity which will form the basis of all our social
For comrades, all of you are the parents
of progress, the mothers
and fathers of national development, and as such you are making our
only productive but also reproductive.
With your insights, ideas and collective
genius you will cause
the birth of more jobs, more production, more wealth and carry our
forward to more happiness and freedom for all our people, whereby every
Grenadian will be able to say:
I have a job.
a producer for my country.
a builder of Grenada.
a constructor of a new land of courage, love, hope and