Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 23rd 2015 Contents A16
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Food vendors at the Queen s Park Savan-
nah said yesterday they had no intention of
moving from their location over health con-
ditions and will continue to ply their trade.
Vendors gathered at the Savannah strip yes-
terday to denounce comments made by Port-of-
Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee last week that
rodents had infested their space.
Tim Kee claimed there were rats as "big as man-
icou" running along the strip. He said once the
upgrades were done to the area there would be new
rules for vending.
At a press conference yesterday, Public Relations
Officer of the Association of Local Culinary Ambas-
sadors (ALCA) Michael Williams said they were
He added: "We ain t moving and we doing like
Rosa Parks and we ain t going to the back of no
"We doing what we do best, we not going to
thief, we not picking up no gun. We making juice,
we blending punch, we making barbecue, we making
"We will prevail over this evil. It is the same
people persecuting us.
Williams claimed they were being victimised by
the People s National Movement (PNM).
Williams said earlier yesterday a tractor came
and removed the plastic chairs placed there for
members of the media.
A "no vending" sign was also put up on the grass
at their location.
"We are not going to tolerate this. The Prime
Minister (Keith Rowley) and his family come here
and buy corn soup and food and they know it have
no rats running here," he added.
He said the vendors were willing to have dialogue
with Tim Kee or the Minister of Agriculture Clarence
"Tourists and locals come here. We employ peo-
ple. You could get wings, punches, barbecue, all-
stop, one-stop. You could bring your family here
and picnic," he said.
During the conference, the only animals visible
were birds, a few flies and an egret.
Vice-president of ALCA, Sheldon Marcano, said
there was no rodent problem and there was running
water in the Savannah.
Concerning claims of vendors being
unsanitary, Marcano said they
employed a cashier and someone to
serve to make conditions safe.
In a brief interview last week,
Rambharat said his ministry was not
responsible for the food court because
of the health issue.
Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat
has vowed that no National Reforestation
worker who protested over late salaries will be
In an interview with the T&T Guardian yes-
terday, Rambharat responded to rumours that
have been circulating since the workers downed
tools and protested on two occasions last week.
At the time, some 2,275 workers had not been
paid for nine fortnights.
Up to press time yesterday, the workers had
been paid arrears for two fortnights and are still
being owed for seven fortnights.
The T&T Guardian was told by several sources
that 1,000 workers, including those who protest-
ed, would be sent home in the coming months
to make room for new workers.
"That rumour is absolutely not true. I had said
it on the platform and I will say it again," Ramb-
harat said. "We currently have 65 groups working
and we might add some more groups.
"We are not replacing or reducing the number
of workers, that was never contemplated. Surely
I would not do something like that, especially
with all the suffering that they went through
over the last few months," he added.
Rambharat said the ministry was trying to
finalise plans to open a nursery to supply seedlings
to the Reforestation Programme before expanding
"We want to open a new nursery in southeast
Trinidad, somewhere between Moruga and
Mayaro, and we are finalising plans for that," he
Asked how many jobs the expansion would
create, Rambharat said: "We want to have about
80 groups in total so that is another 500 work-
He said an audit would be done on areas that
have been cultivated to determine which areas
should receive the most attention.
When asked what assurance workers have that
they would be paid on time in the new year,
Rambharat said: "I have asked the programme
director to put in his request for the next quarter
as soon as possible to make sure this does not
"I have asked him to plan in advance and don t
wait for it to be close to the (pay) date.
"I already told them I want all
releases to be requested in a timely
manner, so the requests can be sent
to the Finance Minister in time."
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