Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 20th 2017 Contents management addressed their concerns. The
action continued for a third day yesterday.
While attempts to reach CEO Shivan Ram-
nath were unsuccessful, officials said the move
had generated negative public attention for
Even though he joined workers during
Monday's sit-in, Public Services Association
(PSA)president Watson Duke did not attend on
Tuesday as he was said to be in Tobago dealing
with political matters.
On Monday, workers refused to vacate the
ADB's head office on Henry Street as they
sought to highlight the issue.
After the bank closed to the public at 3 pm,
the workers complied with instructions to re-
main at work until 4 pm before gathering in
Although they were forcibly removed from
the building by the police on Monday, workers
said they were prepared for the same treatment
Stressing the action was not affecting the
performance of workers, Maharaj said despite
the three-days of protest---the workers had
continued to report for duty as normal as they
were back at work by 7 am yesterday.
Maharaj said employees had been operating
on 2010 salaries and despite the fact that the
basket of goods had increased, salaries had not.
He said: "We can no longer survive like be-
fore and in some instances, we cannot even
afford basic items."
Maharaj said there were some employees
who were being forced to live on $3,700 per
Claiming the time was now to achieve
resolution in this matter, another employee
who requested anonymity, accused the ADB
of "shirking its responsibilities to workers."
Dismissing the company's nine per cent
offer which was made the last time they met
around the negotiating table in March, Maharaj
argued that they had been always been on par
with the public service in terms of parity. He
demanded this be maintained with nothing
less than 14 per cent.
Praising the workers for their continued
dedication to duty, Maharaj said the ADB was
creating its own revenue and had managed
to generate more than $104 million in loans
throughout the agricultural sector within the
Claiming the ADB had allocated the neces-
sary funding to settle the outstanding arrears,
he was unable to say why they continued to
Some of the workers confirmed they had
been placed "in serious debt" as a result of
having to borrow from financial institutions
in order to live and maintain their families.
They said they had also been forced to remove
luxury items from their monthly budget and
reduce social activities due to a lack of funds.
Yet still, Maharaj said, the 140 workers re-
mained committed to achieving the mandate
set by the ADB.
He said this was especially evident following
the passage of Tropical Storm Bret last month.
"Workers have continued to perform and
have even managed to surpass performance
targets set by the bank," Maharaj said.
Revealing the reason why the employees had
refused to engage in sick-out/go-slow action,
Maharaj said: "We opted against engaging in
other types of industrial action as we don't
want to disappoint the persons we serve. We
don't want to disrupt the operations of the
Bank as farmers need us now more than ever,
especially in the wake of Bret and this is the
least disruptive way."
Maharaj said he remained hopeful that the
action would prompt the ADB's management
team to address their concerns immediately.
The ADB specialises in development financ-
ing for the agricultural sector.
Thursday, July 20, 2017 guardian.co.tt
ADB workers continue sit-in for third day
One day after workers of the Agricultural Devel-
opment Bank (ADB) staged a sit-in at the Port-of-
Spain branch, senior company officials met in an
emergency session on Tuesday to decide how to
prevent the employees from continuing what they
considred to be an embarrassing and vexingaction.
However, after they failed to communicate with em-
ployees regarding the settlement of outstanding salary
negotiations for the period 2011 to 2013, the workers again
refused to leave the office after work concluded around
4 pm on Tuesday. They were later joined by employees
from other branches.
Standing firm with the workers, PSA's ADB section
head, Avinash Maharaj, said they would continue until
PSA's Agriculture Development Bank representative, Avinash Maharaj, centre, addresses
workers during a protest at the bank's Henry Street, Port-of- Spain, branch on Tuesday.
PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
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