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Wasa refutes claims of dismissing 600 workers
Following a protest today outside the Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) today, Wasa sent out a release refuting claims that 600 workers were dismissed.
The release reads as follows:
“The Water and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) advises that its daily-rated workers held a planned and peaceful meeting with representatives of their bargaining union – National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW), at the Authority’s Head Office in St Joseph today.
Permission was sought and granted by the Authority for holding the said meeting at Wasa Grounds, St Joseph.
In this regard, the Authority wishes to refute reports of 600 workers being dismissed. To date, 31 persons engaged specifically on short term projects, were given notices, when those projects came to an end effective January 31st, February 15th, March 21st, 2016 respectively.
The Authority remains committed to open dialogue and consultation on these matters.
In another matter, following the recent development involving the presentation and encashment of 67 fraudulent cheques valued at $416,395.50 that were purported to be issued by the Authority, the Authority has commenced a review of the financial business processes of the organisation, in an effort to ensure greater controls in its operations.
Arising from this review, the following measure has been implemented thus far:
With effect from March 8, all cheques issued by the Authority will be crossed. This means that persons receiving such payments will have to deposit same into a valid bank account bearing the recipient’s name before the money can be accessed.
Also, in order to accommodate employees who normally receive their wages/salaries via cheques, the Authority invited various banking institutions to visit its regional offices in North, Central South and Tobago, during the period 16th – 18th March. During these visits, employees without bank accounts were invited to sign up to open an account, to which their wages/salaries will now be sent directly. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is continuing their investigations in the matter.
So far a 28 year old man from Freeport has been charged with presenting false WASA cheques to several RBC Banks. He is currently on $75,000.00 bail, after appearing in the Port-of-Spain First Magistrates Court on March 7, 2016.”