Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2013 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, August 12, 2013
The Falls at Westmall Ellerslie Plaza, Maraval
8 fl.oz. Pasteurized Milk
16 fl.oz Pasteurised Milk
8 fl.oz Pasteurised Peanut-Punch $3.91
16 fl.oz Pasteurised Peanut-Punch $7.83
8 fl.oz Pasteurised Orange Drink $1.81
16 fl.oz Pasteurised Orange Drink $3.63
16 fl.oz Pasteurised Pineapple Drink $3.15
16 fl.oz Pasteurised Mauby
On the hills of the former Picton sugar estate,
dozens of Chinese workers are hard at work on the
construction of the University of the West Indies
(UWI), Debe Law Campus.
One year ago, the $.5 billion contract was awarded
to China Jiangsu International Economic-Technical
Co-Operation Corporation (CJIE) and the campus is
The frame of the moot court is already in place
and the swimming pool, dormitories and adminis-
trative complex are under construction.
Work goes on seven days a week but even with
the fast pace of construction, there are concerns
about the local content being used on the project.
President of the Local Content Chamber, Lennox
Sirjusingh, said there has been no information on
the number of locals employed at the site.
"We have heard nothing about that except that
the project was given to the Chinese firm. We have
no information on local content. We have been begging
for that," Sirjusingh said. He added that under the
contract at least 40 per cent of the workforce must
"However, we are not in a position to evaluate
that. If the Government wants to have transparency
and accountability, they should be willing to have a
third party evaluate this because, as of now, we don t
know if the terms and conditions of the arrangement
are being met," he said.
Sirjusingh said residents of Diamond and Debe are
not getting employment on the site.
"We want localised content. This is a for-
eign company and there should be some
provisions for localised content. Instead we
have a foreign company bringing in foreign
labourers. The local community should cater
for 20 per cent of the workforce," he said.
He accused the Government of breaking
the law in the issuing of work permits.
"The law for the issuing work permits
is to advertise the post, interview people
and prove there is nobody who can do it
locally. I have not seen these advertisements
like those for the past two years, yet work
permits are being issued by the ministry."
Sirjusingh said too often foreign labourers
are brought in to work on construction proj-
ects and highly-skilled locals are given low-
However, Geoffrey Abdullah, director of
Acuitas Caribbean Limited, the contracted
design project manager, said a lot of the
subcontractors involved in the project are
"Gordon Winters Co was doing auger
piling while all the grubbing, excavation
and road construction were being done by
Jagmohan Enterprises," he said.
"As part of the China Jiangsu team, all
the consultants and architects, civil structural
engineers are local and we also have 100
per cent local designers, many of whom are
proud graduates of the Faculty of Engineer-
ing of the University of the West Indies,"
He said there are currently 100 people
employed at the project. However, Abdullah
is not happy with the pace of works.
China Jiangsu s project manager Zhu Bing
said the company planned to increase night-
time construction and hire 150 more workers.
Residents from the neighbouring commu-
nities of Ragoo Village, Harripaul Village,
Wellington Road and Diamond Village said
they are eagerly awaiting employment at
Minister of Tertiary Education Fazal
Karim, who toured the site last week, said
the project will bring spin-off benefits to
locals in the areas of entrepreneurship.
"Apart from providing employment to
many south lawyers, this is an opportunity
for education. People will get jobs, not only
in the formal system, but also informal jobs
As work on Debe campus continues...
Continues on Page A9
The moot court and administrative building take shape on
the law campus in Debe. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
over local content
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