Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Transport boss: No health risk at Licensing Office
Transport Commissioner Reuben Cato is appealing to workers at the Licensing Office, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, to return to work. They walked off their jobs on Tuesday after they were visited by Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke. He told them to “sign the book,” pack up their things and leave. Duke said safety regulations were being broken at the facility and according to the OSH Act the employees had a right to walk off the job.
Yesterday, only a small number of staff reported for work. Cato said: “Basically some (people) worked and he (Duke) came again with a loud bullhorn announcing they should not work in those conditions. “We have been improving the facilities.” He said he called the chief inspectorate to inspect the premises to appease the union.
“It is interesting to know the basic principles are not at risk. If there is a breach, it don’t mean they should not work. Where their lives or health is at risk they should remove themselves, but it is not like that,” he added. Cato said in the absence of a health and safety committee at the department they were still willing to address the issues. He added: “There is no safety and health committee and we are meeting with management to make a health and safety committee.
“In the absence of that it does not mean it won’t be addressed. It is important to date that no worker, PSA or the ministry has written the management and reported any health or safety risk. “We are appealing for the workers to come back to work.” Duke and vice-president Christopher Joefield could not be reached for comment up to late yesterday.
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