Last update: 20-Dec-2013 4:14 am
Friday, December 20, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Workers walk off job
Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke has said workers at the Licensing Office on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, will stay away from the job until further notice. Duke visited the office yesterday and told workers to “pack up their things and walk off the job.” In a telephone interview yesterday, Duke said safety violations were broken at the office and according to the OSH Act under Section 15 the employees had a right to walk off the job.
“There has not been certification of the building and there are electrical problems, asbestos in the building, overcrowding, no fire alarms, no evacuation plan. The environment is one of squalor. It is a total violation,” he said. “We are asking the transport commissioner to have the building certified. Up to such time we will not be working there and Cariri needs to check the asbestos. “They (employees) want to work but they are putting the public against us. They are not working until further notice.”
Drivers and other members of the public who were at the office yesterday said they were frustrated with the setback. Some employees who left the building under Duke’s orders were verbally abused by angry drivers. The Chaguanas branch was not closed. Licensing officers were on duty at that branch yesterday busy with driving exams and attending to members of the public.
Khori Thomas, who was at the Licensing Office in Port-of-Spain, said he was disappointed. He had gone to transfer his car to a new owner. “I took my time and came here. I don’t know the circumstances but everyone has a right to fight for their rights. If it is wrong for them to work in these conditions there are ways to do things. But I don’t condemn them,” he said. Thomas said if the Government was taking care of workers these things would not take place.
Transport Commissioner Rueben Cato said improvements were being made. “We are doing things to improve the facility for the workers and the members of the public,” he said. “We have the Fire Service on board and we are working on it. We are making the environment safe and we are implementing it. We threw out proposals to tender for the safety department. Those measures will be put in place very soon and it is a work in progress.
“We are asking the workers not to hamper the work we provide for members of the public.”
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