Leave workers pension fund alone

I have thought long and hard before writing this article. Let me begin by admitting that I am a long time supporter of the NNP. Many people are quite aware of this. I have also spent most of my working life in support of the working class. It all started when I joined The Technical and Allied Workers Union as a junior employee.

I rose rapidly to the decision making rank of the union. I was encouraged both by the workers and unscrupulous politicians who wanted to use me to unseat the standing president. But I had no leadership aspirations. I only wished to serve my comrades.

Several years later I was promoted to a management position and led the human resource department. I could not continue to support the union so amelioration had become my watchword.

As human resource manager I had to take care of staff welfare. It included promotion, dismissals, finance and many other things. In particular many people needed advice on matters not related to the workplace. In other words I was the guardian of the working class. So you can well understand why I have to choose workers security in preference to the NNP party.

The NIS is a captured creditor and cannot be compared with other creditors who lend money with the expectation of receiving profits. NIS has become a creditor because monies collected on its behalf have not been handed over.

It is inconceivable that the same people who must now pay the increased taxes and face retrenchment in this difficult time should be asked to freely give up their money which they have put away for their old age.

There is no malice on the part of the government but the exigency of the situation demands that every avenue has to be explored.  But even so there is no guarantee of a better tomorrow if additional sacrifices are made. We have always been fed with the slogan that better days are coming but the reality is that better days are gone.

Workers have been losing money in recent years through investment in Capbank, SGL, CLICO and British American Insurance. Many of them in their retirement or retrenchment depend on the NIS as the only means of sustenance.

When the financial crises occurred in two thousand and eight some Greek workers lost their pensions. Other countries had to be bailed out by their governments. No one knows whether another financial crisis will occur.  And what if a disaster occurs and workers employment is curtailed? Where will the NIS find the money to take care of the unemployed?

We all know that NIS stays afloat from its monthly collections. Take this away and it will crumble. Nothing in nothing out. As we go through a period of low employment and retrenchment NIS is bound to be collecting less money. It is therefore not in a position to give away the workers money.

The workers representatives have been orchestrating their objection to this hair cut. This is not enough. They have to mount their protest now. They must know what to do. I don’t have to tell them. If you wait for the NIS board to make their decision. You can consider the fight over.

Michael Regis

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