The Seventh-day Adventist church in Jamaica says it fully supports the stance taken by Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), who declared on Monday that punitive action would be taken against member organisations that deny employment to Sabbath keepers.
In a statement to The Gleaner yesterday, Nigel Coke, spokesman for the Jamaica Union of seventh-day Adventists said that such a decision was long awaited.
"We welcome whole-heartedly this move, which is long in coming, but very timely. Though some of our members are being affected now, and have been in the past, we believe it is time to deal with the issue in a very amicable way and move forward., Coke told The Gleaner. "The opportunity exists to educate members of the PSOJ on the Jamaican constitution and what is required. We are willing to meet with members of the association to discuss some of the issues, so that it can be a win-win for everyone", said Coke who also hold portfolio responsibility for religious liberty.
Coke also pointed out that heads of the local education sector needed to address the issue of scheduling examinations during the observance of the Sabbath.
"We need to hear from the education sector, because many Sabbath-keeping students are now worried because their exams, which come up in a few weeks, are set during Sabbath hours, from sunset Friday evening to sunset Saturday evening," Coke said.
Attorney-at-law Wendell Wilkins also contributed to the conversation saying: "Jamaica is a signatory to many international agreements which provides that there must not be any discrimination based on one's religion. At the workplace, no one should be discriminated against whether they worship on Saturday, Sunday, or any other day".