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Public Utilites Minister Marvin Gonzales

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.

“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.

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.

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.”