Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 23rd 2014 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Daily-paid sanitation employees of the Port-of-
Spain City Corporation are feeling disrespected by
the decision of the Mayor s office to hire temporary
employees in an attempt to reduce the amount of
money spent on overtime for current sanitation
The employees downed their tools yesterday as
they held a protest outside the corporation s sanitation
department on Mucurapo Road, St James.
A garbage pile-up was avoided when the corporation
hired a private contractor yesterday to remove the
city s garbage.
"The workers feel disrespected and we are wondering
if the reason the corporation is handling the situation
the way they are is because this is considered a low-
level job," said president of the Amalgamated Workers
Union Michael Prentice yesterday.
Prentice said the union supported the employees
in their complaints but said he was only notified of
the protest after the action had been taken.
Over the past month, the union, workers and cor-
poration have been in public disagreement over the
corporation s decision to reduce the overtime budget
of over $300,000 per fortnight by hiring new work-
"The workers feel angry and upset. The union
warned the corporation that if the matter wasn t han-
dled properly there would be a huge falling out and
this is what is happening now."
Prentice said the corporation was not taking a sen-
sitive approach to the workers situation.
"This overtime situation has been around for almost
40 years. These workers have been working seven
day weeks and serving this city without complaint
and the corporation is handling this badly."
"We understood the decision to offer more employ-
ment to people in the city but that is not happen-
Prentice said the temporary workers hired by the
corporation were people who had other jobs during
the week and considered the work to be a second
avenue for income.
"The corporation has cut the income of these work-
ers in half and is now supplementing the income of
City Corporation sanitation workers complain to Deputy Mayor Keron Valentine, right, during a protest
outside the department's headquarters off Mucurapo Road, Port of Spain yesterday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
other people. That is disrespectful to the employees.
This is not how it should have been handled," Prentice
Deputy Mayor Keron Valentine met with workers
yesterday morning at the protext site and gave them
a commitment to investigate their complaints and
meet with them by next week.
"We employed about 215 workers for a three-month
basis and we plan to rotate and bring in another set
of workers at the end of that time," Valentine said.
"The purpose of this decision was to provide
employment for people in the city and deal with an
exorbitant overtime bill."
He said workers had made complaints that some
of the workers hired were already employed.
"I will meet with the council on Monday (April 28)
and there will be an investigation into their claims.
If they are valid, these people will be removed from
Valentine said the sanitation workers were very
important to the corporation.
"They keep this city clean. We know how important
they are," he said.
PoS garbage pile-up avoided but...
City Corp workers
Sangre Grande police issued 236
tickets and arrested 20 people for
driving under the influence between
Good Friday and Easter Monday.
Thirteen people were charged with
possession of marijuana and five peo-
ple were arrested on outstanding war-
rants, police said.
A Jamaican national was among
those held in a roadblock on Toco
Main Road and he was taken into
custody by immigration officers yes-
A 22-year-old Toco man was held
for uttering a false certificate of insur-
Insp Ken Lutchman, PCs Hypolite,
Sankar, Leopold, Fraser, Diaz, Johnson
and WPC Wells of the Sangre Grande
CID, Task Force and the Warrants
and Traffic Section took part in the
20 held, 236 tickets issued
for DUI in Sangre Grande
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