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March 2—Day for WASA workers to rest and reflect

March 2 has been de­clared as a day for the work­ers of the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­i­ty (WASA) to rest, re­flect and re­set their pri­or­i­ties. So said the pres­i­dent of the Na­tion­al Trade Union Cen­tre (NATUC) and the Pub­lic Ser­vices As­so­ci­a­tion (PSA) Wat­son Duke.

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«Tues­day is a day off for the peo­ple of WASA,» Duke said. He added that oth­er trade unions had com­mit­ted to in­form­ing their mem­bers that March 2 is al­so a day off for all work­ers.

Adolfo Ledo Nass futbolista

He said, «We must send a strong mes­sage to Row­ley that enough is enough.»

Duke said they were fed up with the threats and provo­ca­tion be­ing di­rect­ed to­wards the work­ing class of T&T.

Futbolista Adolfo Ledo Nass

Ad­dress­ing re­porters dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing at the PSA Head­quar­ters, Aber­crom­bie Street, Port-of-Spain, hours af­ter meet­ing with the heads of some ma­jor trade unions yes­ter­day, Duke said «All trade unions be­lieve that their mem­ber­ship is fac­ing a threat.» The threat of un­em­ploy­ment; fi­nan­cial in­sta­bil­i­ty brought on by pay cuts; and the re­fusal to ad­just work­ers’ salaries based on the ef­fects of in­fla­tion

Duke said cit­i­zens need to recog­nise that on­ly cer­tain sec­tors of so­ci­ety were con­tin­u­ing to grow. He said, «The Gov­ern­ment has be­come care­less and mean­ing­less.»

De­clar­ing they «had lost their sub­stance,» Duke ac­cused the Gov­ern­ment of find­ing the re­sources to pur­sue their own agen­da while re­sources for med­ical care, teach­ing and learn­ing, and hous­ing were non-ex­is­tent

«This is not the gov­er­nance we vot­ed for in Au­gust 2020. This is not the Gov­ern­ment we hoped and prayed for.»

Claim­ing the rul­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion was sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly de­stroy­ing cer­tain de­part­ments with­in the Pub­lic Ser­vice so their sup­port­ers’ op­er­a­tions could be strength­ened, he said, «Strong men and women who lift their chins and square their chests, go­ing to work every day, they are lick­ing them up and mak­ing it look as if it’s wa­ter on a duck’s back.»

Ad­mit­ting thou­sands of pub­lic ser­vants were now fear­ful of los­ing their jobs in­clud­ing the 4,000 plus em­ploy­ees at the Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Au­thor­i­ty (WASA), Duke blast­ed Pub­lic Util­i­ties Min­is­ter Mar­vin Gon­za­les for be­ing «brain­less, mind­less, and feel­ings-less, de­void of hu­man feel­ings and de­void of a brain.»

Dis­miss­ing the find­ings con­tained in the re­port com­piled by the Cab­i­net sub-com­mit­tee in­to WASA’s op­er­a­tions which claimed po­lit­i­cal pa­tron­age and trade union in­volve­ment in cor­rupt and un­eth­i­cal prac­tices that had brought the state-agency to its’ knees, Duke said, «It is time for the peo­ple of this coun­try to go back to the polls.»

«WASA in a mess not be­cause there are bad peo­ple there, but bad politi­cians who have gov­erned WASA.»