KINGSTON, Jamaica — Leaders of Jamaica’s rank-and-file police union have hinted that officers may walk off the job this week to demand pay raises, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding said Sunday his government will not be “bullied” by threats of a wor
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Leaders of Jamaica’s rank-and-file police union have hinted that officers may walk off the job this week to demand pay raises, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding said Sunday his government will not be "bullied" by threats of a work stoppage. Jamaica’s police federation, which represents nearly 8,000 constables and inspectors, announced Friday that they might call for a work stoppage in coming days if Golding’s government does not approve a wage increase amid an ongoing freeze on public sector salaries. But Golding indicated soldiers and police reserves would fan out across Jamaica, manning stations, the courts and violence-wracked communities, if a police strike is called for. He said his administration is facing tough challenges and the union should call for negotiations in a more diplomatic way. "This administration will not be bullied," Golding said. "This government is not going to be cowered, is not going to be yielding, and is not going to be genuflecting, simply because people believe they have a kind of power that can hold the country to ransom." Finance Minister Audley Shaw placed a freeze on government salaries earlier this year, citing challenges of the global economic crisis. Ministry officials met with the police federation’s leaders on Friday and told them that pay increases are currently impossible. Sgt. Raymond Wilson, chairman of the police federation, did not rule out a strike following the tense meeting. He said Golding’s government should not have included law enforcement in the public-sector groups subject to the wage freeze. ______ Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.