Sanitation workers again protest over health and safety concerns
Government is being urged to meet with the Industrial General and Sanitation Workers Union (IGSWU) to settle outstanding agreements and ensure the disbursement of backpay owed to them.
Leader of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Ancel Roget made the call as members of the IGSWU again protested outside the Beetham Landfill over the outstanding items.
Roget said the workers’ protest is an indictment on the government and the Ministers of Labour, Public Utilities and others to take a proactive approach to workers’ issues, adding that it borders on disrespect.
“It did not start here, last year, or so under this government. It started before but one would have expected that having seen the problem while in Opposition that they would have taken a priority and proactive approach to treat with these labour issues and health and safety issues in a humane way.”
The JTUM leader urged government to ensure that the treatment of health and safety concerns are treated as priority.
He warned that if these issues, along with the outstanding backpay, remain unaddressed by a deadline to be set by IGSWU in the near future “a particular course of action” will be taken.
“We are in a period of aggressive mobilisation that will take us across the lengths and breadths of this country where workers are exploited on a daily basis.
These workers have to face the grocery like everybody else. They have to send their children to school. They have to pay rent in some cases…and all of them have to face rising costs of living but yet still the little pittance, the backpay that is owed to them, nobody can find it in their hearts to ensure that the workers get their backpay on time.”
Roget said he was not at liberty to say what action would be taken but he revealed that the trade union movement has held discussions where a plan has been carefully crafted to ensure that the disrespect to workers and unions is brought to an end.
He alluded to actions taken in the past, including mass demonstrations by workers throughout the country.
See also: Sanitation workers: They’re poisoning us