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East Dry River residents reject Jack’s $69 a day (with CNC3 video)
East Port-of-Spain residents yesterday staged a fiery protest upon learning they will be offered $69 a day only for work under the "People and Projects for Progress" programme. On Wednesday, National Security Minister Jack Warner launched the programme at St Paul Street Community Centre which he said was aimed at job creation, poverty eradication and crime reduction in East Port of Spain.
Residents who attended the orientation programme yesterday at the St Paul Street Community Centre were told $69 daily will be offered to a labourer. The residents left the orientation in a rage. They burned mattresses, old tyres and rubbish at the corner of St Paul and Piccadilly streets.
The irate residents then walked along Prince Street to protest the offer. The protest caused a traffic pile-up that stretched as far as New Street. Officers of the Inter Agency Task Force, Besson Street Police Station, Port-of-Spain Task Force and Wrightson Road Fire Station responded. Helicopter Viper One also hovered over the area.
The residents said food prices were high and there were skilled workers among the group that went to the orientation that day. “It is another URP project. I would rather do the crime than do the 69,” said one resident as he walked away. “It is unacceptable. We don’t want no URP and Jack has to go back to the table.”
Another resident said he thought the deal was good as they were supposed to work only three hours from 7 am to 10 am. “That is free money. I don’t know what wrong with them,” he said. Members of the Defence Force Engineering Battalion are to be used as project managers.
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