Port workers problems


As the Port Authority prepares to embark upon privatisation of its operations, it is high time to revisit the fact of its indebtedness to its employees.

More so it’s past employees many of whom have already gone to the great beyond and who have been denied the enjoyment of their hard earned emoluments.

I am reminded of the Prime Minister’s words some time ago: “I want my money. I do not like my money sleeping out.”

Sir, what about the small port worker who has been waiting expectantly for years to receive his money? People who are instrumental in placing power in your hands so that you can make such bold statements.

It is nothing less than a burning shame for Mr Michael Anisette to have been presiding over this matter for such a long time and not to have had this matter resolved in the interest of those who religiously paid union dues to the Seamen’s Union over the years.

Imagine all the nation’s public servants were reimbursed while some even resisted deductions in the first place.

I speak here of the 10 per cent deduction which, believe it or not, was imposed by the ANR Robinson administration.

It is nothing less than a slap in the face for Mr Anisette’s stewardship over all these years. Hold the fort! My god!

How long must we hold a fort which is crumbling now under its own weight? When last has the almighty SWWTU called a strike? Has this weapon in the hands of workers been snatched away forever? Where are our soldiers like Edwin Stowe, Ralph Charles, Big Ben, and Vernon Glean? Must we look backwards only for our heroes.

May I suggest that at least, if these monies are not forthcoming immediately, that we must be made part of the negotiations as part owners in this privatisation exercise? We must settle for nothing less: including interest accrued over these long years.

Remember most of these workers have already either died or are surely out of a job for too long. LORD PUT A HAND.