DPSU claims victimization in PWC protest

PWC workers have been holding protest action for weeks now
PWC workers have been holding protest action for weeks now

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang , is crying ‘victimization,’ saying the majority of those who took part in protest action at the Public Works Corporation (PWC) recently have been sent home by the board.

“The majority of people who were sent home, I think a hundred percent, are the people who have been protesting,” he said on Friday.

Letang is calling on all Dominicans to show solidarity with the workers by stopping work for one hour on Monday.

The matter will also be brought up and discussed on a regional level when the Caribbean Public Services Association (CPSA) conference convenes in Trinidad soon, he said.

Letang addresses a press conference on Friday
Letang addresses a press conference on Friday

Twenty workers from the PWC have been given walking papers for a period of six weeks beginning on July 1 and Letang said they had taken part in protests which have been ongoing at the institution for weeks now.

He referred to this as unfairness and “victimization”

“It is total victimization,” he said. “If these people have a conscience, I hope their conscience will trouble them, because what they are doing cannot be right. At a time when children on holidays, parents need that money to buy school books and uniforms for their children, the PWC has selected that time to send people home.”

He is calling on nationals to stand in solidarity with those affected by the actions at the PWC.

“We also decided that Monday 6th will be a day when people can show their solidarity and their support by stopping work for one hour,” he stated. “That is from 11 am to 12 noon.”

He said the union will ensure that business places that participate are patronized.

But this is not all.

“I will also be discussing with the executive the idea of bringing this matter to the regional scene,” he said, “That is when we meet at the Caribbean Public Services Association (CPSA) conference in Trinidad in two weeks’ time.”

He said the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and other members of the CPSA will be in attendance and the opportunity, on more than one occasion, has been utilized to put the matters affecting workers on the table.

The matters are addressed and resolutions are sent to the respective governments and “we have seen action,” Letang noted.

Letang remarked that he will also seek to discuss with the executive the launching of a ‘lifeline’ on behalf of the PWC employees.

“And by that I mean the possibility of engaging the private sector in some discussions where employees of the PWC, when doing business with the private sector business places, so they can get concessionary rates,” he explained.

He remarked that with the use of an identification card, the workers can enjoy reduced rates on goods.

PWC workers have been protesting for weeks, complaining of late salaries, non-payment of contribution to Social Security, poor working conditions and a host of other issues.

The protest was deemed illegal by the authorities, but Letang said he is “extremely happy and proud” of the employees for standing up.

The action is expected to last for another six weeks and beyond.

Letang said there are other activities that the union intends to undertake but has chosen to remain tight-lipped for the time being.

He informed that the decisions were taken at a recent meeting.

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  1. helloooooooo
    July 4, 2015

    you letang and your fools dem go on all you strike all you alone and leave dominica working people out of it

  2. Larchmont, NY
    July 4, 2015

    Sad to see where the country is heading. This place is getting just like Haiti. I feel so sorry for the citizens.

  3. IluvmyPm
    July 4, 2015

    Omg what kind of country is this?

  4. victims
    July 3, 2015

    See what the Skerritt DLP Gov’t has brought PWC to. A local corporation, with decades of meaningful contributions to Dominica’s development, has been crippled, decapitated.

    PWC workers have been experiencing problems with payments from Gov’t for work done. Fortnights upon fortnights, months upon months pass without pay. Their social security payments of tens of thousands of $$$$$$$ have not been paid for a long time.

    As if those pains are not hurting enough, Skerritt’s Gov’t either sold, leased or gave free the land where PWC operated for decades, to the Chinese for hotel building. PWC were never in the deal. Dominicans don’t know about that secret deal.

    On top of that, Skerritt travelled to China, signed a loan of US $300 million from a private Chinese firm. Dominicans are stunned. The Chinese Gov’t extremely concerned. Chinese Gov’t distanced themselves from that. Part of that loan is to build the Chinese hotel. Dominicans have to pay back that loan…

  5. Memory
    July 3, 2015

    After this hour what happens? Let me say again all unions on the island need to come together ,organize plan meetings, you
    the leaders then go to your members with your decision, for today it is Public Workers, later it can be any other department. Children have to go to school and eat too. Stand up Dominicans.

  6. karmla
    July 3, 2015

    peep peep, heeng heeng heeng. Get rid of pwc. No money. We can’t make blood out of stone. Stop pressing the pm. Pwc left him with a hole in his pocket.

    • behave
      July 4, 2015

      Kamala, you have not learnt your lesson man. It seem like you need eight doses of your own medicine. You really not good! To which club do you belong?

  7. gadathy
    July 3, 2015

    mr.latang u may fool others but not me i listen to u carefully pretend to be aggressive then u go to the government and come back with a solution that have no weight but too hear u speak boi letang serious but poor little PWd workers u making them go on strike wat impact that strike have letang teachers , public servant ready for strike letang playing aggressive but he goes to the pm and he comes back with a ………………… he not stupid E Pah SORT the only guy on the other side of the fence hosting a program on Q95 That is too f……… the people someone tell letang wat u read and ask him to go on dno and defend this statement ?

  8. YungMonie
    July 3, 2015

    Most likely the people that were protesting were the ones who already knew that their jobs were on the line. We all knew that place was overstaffed for years. It’s sad that they are being dismissed in these hard economic times but don’t claim that’s victimization.

    • mandate 2 mismanage
      July 3, 2015

      Bruh….if the place is being managed properly why do they need to wait until a protest ensues before laying folks off? And while overstaffing is one part of the problem, what about the filthy conditions of the place? Let me guess…the wokers should use their non-received salaries to buy new toilets and pay a cleaner, right?

      We all Sh*$ is crazy all across Dominica, why do we seek to apologize and excuse each and every instance. When we are done and compare our nation to any other OECS country we then question why we seem so far behind.

    • Yut2yut
      July 4, 2015

      If a government owned institution is overstaff then the government should provide the opportunities for the corporation to utilize the staff but instead of providing contracts to Public Works the government gives the contract to friends for personal benefits. Stop cooling per with this nonsense

  9. real possie
    July 3, 2015

    I was going to read the whole thing then it hit me it would just be waste of my time. It will always seem like victimization because Edison James loaded up that department with workers from Salisbury, now with that said how can it be victimization when the DLP been in power for fifteen years and these people were still there? There is one guy who goes to work with all his blue paraphernalia to work, the company has to cut it’s loss so we wont see on DNO again how they did not get pay and how they want their money.

    • John Paul
      July 3, 2015

      Your turn will come when Your Job gets deleted in Skeritt’s book and You will want everybody to support You.
      Look Barbados is ready to be shut down for 10 Jobs people over 60 and 10 jobs in Barbados with a higher population is equivalent to at least 40 jobs here per capita

    • Fouchette
      July 4, 2015

      Ok, so now I understand why Public Works employees are being treated like that….because they are mainly from Salisbury….they are too blue to remain there much longer. This is true political victimization at its worse then. There is more in the mortar than simply the pestle.

  10. July 3, 2015

    I cant understand how a people could tolerate such a government :-D

    • anonymous2
      July 3, 2015

      How? Many of them on island don’t bother to vote, always having excuses. These people here now are basically passive, 35 – 40 years ago, the people were different. They didn’t have the TV’s and all of the electronic devices that have taken over their brains. Only a few will lay it on the line and for doing so, they are punished in one way or another. There is very little solidarity. People here don’t stand together. Instead, they try to knock each other down and steal from each other. People like that are ripe for the picking when it comes to dictatorships and communism.

  11. Tampa
    July 3, 2015

    Mr. Letang, I can guarantee you that the government’s plan is to marginalize and then eventually get rid of PWC and outsource the jobs to his NEP people who will be paid out of public works. By doing this it will open the way for the Chinese company to take over the property. I think your people are standing in the way. We will be observing as this issue continue to unfold.

    • Really
      July 3, 2015

      But that will be better for us anyhpw,less wastage because the persons who get the jobs will see to it that they do not have slackers and loiterers.That is the best way to go.

    • real possie
      July 3, 2015

      @ Tampa, is it not better the NEP kids get the job? they learn their skills while getting paid. These people love dying with their boots on-on the job, you all like to say how long people in power but people who can’t do their jobs anymore not moving aside to give young people a chance to grow in these jobs.

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