| The Hon. Hopeton Caven OJ, CD
Former Trade Unionist and Parliamentarian
The Hon. Hopeton Caven OJ, CD was a former Jamaican trade unionist and parliamentarian.
Early life and education
Hopeton Caven was born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine on 13 December 1927, to Hezekiah Caven, a driver; and Jane Ann Currie, a housewife. He was educated at the Calabar Elementary School, and St. George’s College Extension School.
The Trades Union Congress provided the vehicle through which Hopeton Caven gave a lifetime of dedicated service to the cause of the Jamaican workers.
He started with the Trade Union Congress as a volunteer, attending/training classes in 1949. He joined the Trade Union Congress as an organizer in 1952, and became a Conciliation Officer, then Assistant General Secretary in 1958. He later became the TUC’s General Secretary then President for several decades. His trade union activism also included tremendous service a founding member, director and trustee of the Joint Trade Union Research and Development Centre. He was also a Vice President of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions. He used his position as the Jamaican representative of the Jamaica Progressive League in the 1970s to advance the interests of Jamaican workers and families.
Caven was a Member of the People’s National Party (PNP) Executive 1964-80 and was nominated to serve in the Senate from 1972 to 1980 for the PNP. As a Senator, he was extremely active in formatting legislation that improved the lives of ordinary Jamaicans. These included:
- The Labour Relations & Industrial Disputes Act
- The Employment Termination Redundancy Payment Act
- Equal Pay for Equal Work
- Maternity Leave Act
- National Minimum Wage Act.
His unwavering commitment to public service also saw him serving as a worker representative on the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee, as well as a director of the National Housing Trust. He also promoted the Pension Schemes for workers and represented the cause of women workers in key manufacturing enterprises such as the garment and cigar making sectors.
Honour and awards
He received the Order of Jamaica, Commander Class in 2001.
Caven was the father of three sons and one daughter.
Caven died on 9 October 2015 following a brief period of illness. He was 87 years old.