You are here
‘Greedy contractors’ rake in $40,000—$60,000 a month
Several Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (Cepep) contractors who have been receiving salaries between $25,000 and $35,000 a month have not been paying national insurance (NIS) contributions for their workers. A well-placed source said last week, “the greedy and corrupt contractors” by not paying NIS contributions, have been raking in monthly salaries of $40,000 to $60,000 a month.
But while contractors have been pocketing hefty sums, the Cepep workers have been earning an average of $900 to $1,500 per fortnight. They are required to work six hours a day, with a 30-minute break. Cepep contractors hire three types of workers—labourers, equipment operators and foremen. The source said many of the contractors who received termination letters were negligent in paying NIS, and they discovered several discrepancies in their operations. Contractors receive more than $200,000 a month per contract, which caters for salaries and workers’ statutory payments.
Corruption all around
The source stated that the unscrupulousness practised by the contractors extended countrywide. Each contractor may have four teams or six teams, with ten people per team. Some, however, crossed that limit. “There are some contractors under the previous PNM administration who have 120 workers,” the source said. The source claimed that some of these contractors were former PNM senators.
Last Monday, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said 17 termination letters were given to contractors which would lead to job losses. However, the senior source said the Cepep company wrote to contractors in December informing them about being negligent in meeting their statutory obligations. “We gave them a deadline date and no one showed any proof,” the source revealed.
According to Cepep’s stipulations, contractors are supposed to work for no more than a three-year period. However, many of them have been there for the last eight years. Cepep was never intended to be “welfare” the source explained, it was to ensure people (contractors and workers) were able to earn a living as he or she prepared himself (by education or otherwise) for a better job.
Tough task for board
The Sunday Guardian contacted a member of the board of directors for a comment. The director, who did not want to be named, said: “The board of directors has a heavy task of looking at the operations. As the chairman stated in an article, there is an audit to be conducted, so that there is transparency and equity, so that it can be beneficial to T&T.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.