Norman Manley Biography

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Biography Part 3 - Workers' Rights

Manley became very active in the assistance of the poor people of Jamaica and, in 1937, formed Jamaica Welfare Ltd (now called the Social Development Commission). The organisation was set up to mainly benefit poverty stricken residents of rural Jamaica, in areas such as education, hosing and social projects.

In the late 1930s there was great unrest amongst the working class in Jamaica, with workers being desperate for better working conditions and higher rates of pay. The tensions escalated with great riots in 1938 at Frome sugar factory in Westmoreland, Serge Island in St. Thomas and many riots in Kingston. Manley's cousin, Alexander Bustamante lent support to the protesting workers but was arrested and imprisoned by the government. Norman Manley intervened and was able to negotiate Bustamante's release.

Previous: Early Career
Next: Formation of the PNP

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