Tarish pit unblocked as truckers receive their cheque of 250K

A four-day protest by local truckers to get over a quarter of a million dollars owed for their services, rendered almost six months ago, has yielded positive results.

At 6 a.m. on Monday, June 13, several truckers blocked the entrance to Dominica’s main tarish pit in Pont Cassé, preventing eight foreign-owned trucks from leaving and others from getting in. The truckers held their ground and were adamant that they would only move when they were paid the two hundred and fifty thousand dollars owed to them by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sotradom, Jacque Gaddarkhan, for work done on the East Coast road project.

Speaking to Dominica News Online (DNO), President of the Tipper Truckers Association of Dominica (TTAD), Anton Laville, reported that they met with Mr. Gaddarkhan yesterday, June 16, and were given a cheque for the full amount.

“He acknowledged that he had some shortcomings in his office and he’s going to make some improvements in that regard,” Laville told DNO.

In addition to the payment of monies owed, TTAD was also calling for local truckers to be allowed to work alongside Mr. Gaddarkhan who heads several local projects, which Laville says, the Sotradom CEO has agreed to.

“He gave us the commitment that he is going to reemploy us by the first week in July and thereafter, we will continue doing the project with him. He also gave us his word that he’s going to try his best to make payments in a shorter period, and we all agreed that the truckers should be paid no more than 60 days maximum after providing their service,” Laville stated.

During a live interview at the start of their protest action on Monday, the president explained that following a six-hour “awareness action” taken by local truckers in November 2021 under the Canfield cliff, to highlight the non-inclusion of local truckers in the construction of major projects on the island, their services were engaged earlier this year by Mr. Gaddarkhan for the multi-million dollar world bank project.

“From February of 2022, we started work with the gentleman and his company and some of our truckers worked for a period of three weeks. However, up to this date, we have not received any payments from the company,” Laville told DNO during that interview.

“For five months we have not gotten paid. Right now, the project is continuing, tarish is being hauled from the tarish pit and our trucks are parked. The banks are calling me in relation to the other truckers who are not paying their mortgage on their trucks and they even threaten legal action. So today, we decided to block the tarish pit and prevent any of the haulings and to get the attention of Mr. Jacque Gaddarkhan,” the veteran trucker added.

Laville also revealed that, with the assistance of the association’s lawyer, 13 letters had been sent to Gaddarkhan, but all prior attempts to get the monies owed, had failed.

Since the protest action began on Monday, the truckers were offered a partial amount, which they refused to accept. Several truckers also decided to sleep inside of their trucks as they remained resolute that they would not move unless all their outlined conditions were met.

The TTAD president expressed his gratitude to the general public and the police for the support that they showed over the past few days.

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17 Comments

  1. Jonathan Y St Jean
    June 21, 2022

    @Man bites dogs, little do you know that a contract doesn’t have to be written for it to stand as authentic and credible. That’s what the law says. Go check it out. What you should have said is that Gaddarkhan needs to abide by the terms of the agreement he reached with the truckers. Also the government needs to stand up and support locals who are being taken advantage of by foreigners. You are despicable and an unpatriotic loose cannon.

  2. Talbot John
    June 21, 2022

    This is crazy, the truckers should get paid every two weeks. Why do these poor guys (truckers) have to finance a contractor operation, who was advance and funded (by the world bank) to get the work done? Only in a country with no laws this happens. Desperation is a hell of a thing!

  3. Lin clown
    June 20, 2022

    IBO is a liar,he wish the truckers did not get pay.The blockade would continue and the road project would stop. If I contract you to build a house,and you hire some people what paying the people you hire have to do with me?As a matter of fact the bunch of blue criminals wish the truckers did not get pay.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10
    • Marie
      June 20, 2022

      Yet again you confirm that you are mentally handicapped.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Ibo France
        June 20, 2022

        The mental asylum is missing an inmate.

  4. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    June 18, 2022

    Why are foreigners involved in road projects on Dominica? Are there not any qualified Dominican construction companies and engineers on Dominica born and raised on the island? Who is making the decision to bring in foreigners. Why are foreigners controlling the money provided to Dominica by the world bank who is watching the money? Foreigners too? With the support of yours truly the minister of finance.

  5. Zandoli
    June 18, 2022

    I don’t understand why the truckers had to take these extraordinary measures to get paid. If they provide a service as expected, they have to be paid fully within a reasonable period of time. That is how business works.
    At my company, our terms are typically net 30 days. Some customers stretch it to 45 days. We would prefer they stay within the terms, but an extra 15 days is not a deal breaker. We would absolutely not accept a customer holding our money for 6 months except if there is an issue related to a credit. If they decided on their own to not pay their invoices on time, we would not extend credit to them and they would be treated as a C.O.D customer.

  6. MAGWA CA
    June 18, 2022

    so the man had the money to pay them truck drivers and he withhold them man money for months ?

    in another country mr go to jail for them business practices yuh. only in dca can a company withhold peoples hard earned money and nothing gets done to punish the company.

  7. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    June 18, 2022

    The truckers did right

  8. June 17, 2022

    It is absolutely true that the power of the people is more than the people in power. That is the reason why Dominicans must stand against all the ills and demonstrate and send this clear message that the power of the people is more than the people in power. Great move truckers. There is more to come. Happy that you the truckers have shown the way. Union leaders take note

  9. Gerard Benjamin
    June 17, 2022

    In this day and age that such ludicrous, utterly disrespectful and downright lawless behaviour could be enacted by an employer of such stature towards persons contracted by him is bewildering beyond words. So without grinding the quarry operations to a halt,no payments would have been made to these beleaguered truckers ? No wonder there’s a common perspective held that Dominica is a country with no law.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  10. Jonathan Y St Jean
    June 17, 2022

    Proof that pressure bursts pipe ✌️. Good job of unity for strength by the owners of the trucks even when their government didn’t see it fit to rally in their support against a foreign company taking advantage of their contribution to national development. Take that Gaddarkhan.

  11. Ibo France
    June 17, 2022

    Those of you who dragged the truckers over hot, red coals for the blockage, you now have egg on your faces. I’m elated for them and their families. I am also happy that they ignored the foolish noises of their detractors.

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

  12. Ibo France
    June 17, 2022

    You have to agitate for your rights. Nothing good comes easily. The truckers displayed great determination and perseverance in order to bring resolution to their problem with Mr. Gad-DARK-han.

    This should be a template for other aggrieved workers to follow. No violence, no destruction but personal sacrifices coupled with a steel-like determination to resolve industrial greviances.
    Again, I would like to BIG UP ( commend) the young female reporter from DNO and Matthias Peltier of Q95 fm fame, for shedding light on the plight of the truckers during their time of adversity.

    Let this be the lesson going forward. No foreign contractor should enter the shores of Dominica and box food out of the mouths of local workers.

  13. Man bite dogs
    June 17, 2022

    The truckers should organise their selfish ways together and get a proper contact in place to avoid any further confusion, words of mouth is not good to anyone what so ever in todays world!!

    • Ibo France
      June 20, 2022

      Go back to your place of abode. The mental asylum is missing a dog and a clown.

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