The Oilfields Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) says it strongly condemns the Housing Development Corporation's (HDC) destruction of farm lands in D'Abadie and Chaguanas. In a news release yesterday, the union's president, Ancel Roget, strongly condemned the actions taken on Monday in D'Abadie, and Tuesday in Chaguanas, where agents of the HDC bulldozed farm land to make way for housing developments. Roget, in a statement, reminded the Government about its commitment to end such actions and drew reference to the People Partnership's manifesto where food production and food security were identified as a first priority towards national development.
He said the HDC's actions "demonstrated the highest level of disrespect for our working farmers and a callous disregard for our own food production." Roget called on Minister of Housing and the Environment Roodal Moonilal to explain his policy of using arable land for housing. He further demanded that Moonilal reveal who gave the instructions to "bulldoze" the crops. Roget said Moonilal must be held accountable and must apologise to all affected.
He said the OWTU stood in solidarity with the affected farmers in demanding an apology from HDC chief executive officer Jearlean John, full and adequate compensation, land tenure for farmers and the completion of the Land-Use and Land Development Policy. Roget said the OWTU was of the opinion that food production was a critical aspect of the country's development, which sought to improve the quality of life for all.