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NWU: GOVERNMENT MUST PAY DEBT TO WORKERS IN CASH BY END OF JUNE

posted 18 May 2016, 11:12 by Gerry Kangalee
The National Workers Union issued the following statement on May 18th 2016:

The National Workers’ Union (NWU) notes the blatant double standard being displayed by this Government, as it continues the proud tradition of previous regimes of fixing up the big boys while workers (voters) continue to eat the bread that the devil kneads. 

The Minister of Education publicly announces that his ministry is seeking to pay off by June, some $800 million in debts owed to contractors involved with school repairs. He went on further saying that government will have to pay yet unquantified “penalties” for its tardiness. The NWU accepts that debts owed should be paid.

The problem arises however in how government is treating its debts to its employees, policemen, firemen, health workers employed by the RHA’s, etc. Their attitude is as though paying workers their hard earned backpay is some sort of favour being granted to them. Government operates as though it can pay those workers if, when and however it feels; that it can unilaterally decide to pay part cash, part bonds on terms it determines. Debts to contractors however will be paid in full by June inclusive of penalties.

The NWU believes that this $800 million being paid to contractors involved in school repairs is but the tip of the iceberg. The Minister of Finance had stated publicly in 2015 that debt to contractors ran into billions of dollars. In his mid-term review when he dealt with the debt to workers he was ominously silent as to how GOTT was dealing with this obligation to contractors.

The conspiracy thickened when the previously vocal contractor groupings fell deafeningly silent. Circumstantial evidence suggests that a secret deal may have been struck with the contractors. While workers are urged to be patriotic in these “difficult” times and are blasted for being greedy in demanding their just due, contractors’ bills are being settled in full.

What is particularly heartless about this approach is many former employees of the RHA’s are today subsisting on pensions of $600.00-$800.00 per month and are in desperate need of their backpay, having been blasted by soaring prices on virtually every item or service needed.

The NWU calls on the Minister of Finance to immediately halt this bias against workers. ALL DEBTS MUST BE PAID IN CASH AND IN FULL BY END OF JUNE. Affected workers must resist this contemptuous treatment by the government regardless of which party they belong to or who they voted for.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gerry Kangalee (National Education and Research Officer.  Cell: 785-7637)

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