DPSU seeks audience with PM Skerrit

Letang wants a number of issues at the PWC addressed
Letang wants a number of issues at the PWC addressed

The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) has requested an audience with prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, in order to bring the concerns of workers at the Public Works Corporation (PWC) to his attention.

A petition, signed by 80 PWC workers, was sent to the prime minister on Friday after attempts to have the matters resolved with the board of directors of the PWC failed.

“We felt that we needed to take the matter to another level and the prime minster being the head of government, we felt that we need to officially bring the concerns of the employees to his attention,” general secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang told DNO.

He noted that the DPSU was to meet with the PWC board almost two months ago, but that has not been forthcoming and the union has in essence given up.

“We have arrived at a conclusion that a meeting with the board will not make any sense,” Letang said.

He stated that there are many issues at the PWC which the DPSU wants addressed. Among them is micromanagement, he noted.

“The corporation is micromanaged and toothless,” he stated. “The board is not being given the opportunity to the things it should be doing as a board, there is a lot of interference.”

Furthermore, Letang stated, the PWC board is displaying preferences in the granting of contracts. “I believe that there is a deliberate move to keep public works in the situation that it is, so that the corporation will eventually be privatized and that the interest of some people can be met,” he stated.

Letang said the DPSU is contemplating “certain strategies” in combating the issue but said they cannot be disclosed now.

He is calling on Dominicans to rally behind the DPSU and the employees of the PWC.

“The general public should rally behind the efforts of the Public Works Corporation because families are affected, there are a lot of business places who depend on the patronizing of Public Works employees, the social security is affected because contributions are not being paid,” the DPSU boss noted.

He hopes the prime minister will be able to meet the DPSU this week.

 

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43 Comments

  1. lifeiswhatwemakeit
    April 8, 2014

    public work is a waste of time, they spend so much time doing nothing, yet they crying for money. Strupess

  2. true
    April 8, 2014

    DASPA is also micromanaged. The board has no say. Only the CEO run tings and his managers are like doomes under him. What he says go and nothing anyone says matters.
    Victimization, poor working condition, lack of respect to managers and staff just to name a few. This place i heard is a disaster! Its a one man show.

  3. MOU
    April 8, 2014

    i suspect a clause in the MOU makes mention of discarding the PWC so the Chinese will get the work…
    mon Dominique toe sort.

  4. For Dominica
    April 8, 2014

    So So Sorry to say to you Dominicans, we will all perish under this current leadership because your PM realize we are a confused and lost nation. We have not come to the realization of who we are or where we came from, and still don’t know where we are going. we have no true identity for whom we say we are so we can’t harness the spirit of national pride. We seems not to care for our people and certainly not our Country. We feel very comfortable sitting and talking about the things that effect us as a people but not willing to stand up for what we know is right. Tell me Dominicans how on Earth can we move to a better place? how can we make Dominica a better country to live ,work and to develop for tomorrow. We need to be serious Dominicans can’t you not see what’s is going on are we that blind are we that naive? doesn’t the Land means anything to us? just look around you? doesn’t that lovely country means any thing? no one will give you your freedom we will have to fight for it. The time have come for just that. I will not count to much on your General Election that can be rig we see it and have examples of it in many country. my heart goes out for Dominica.

  5. Mamizoo
    April 7, 2014

    Letang is quite capable so as to understand that he is dealing with a vicious cycle of trickery, lies and opaqueness. First of all the PSU is powerless, toothless a little bit of bark and no bite. This is not a criticism of Letang’s performance instead it is my observation that Letang is captaining a ship embattled by a perfect storm.
    Can the public works personnel go on strike? Well even if they do who cares. 15-20 years ago a Public Works strike would impact the entire country. Public works now has to wait for companies owned by ministers , minister brother, Francis E and others to subcontract work belongingto the government . Now the very same individuals are directing public works from behind the curtain. oh Wat conodrum of corruption and Lerang must attempt navigate through this storm of mass crruption.i would be surprise if Letang is unaware of those occurrences. I know tat sometimes in life you got to remove that veil of diplomacy and go for the jugular.
    Most of us will admit that today if the people in position of authority Cannot come up with deliberates lies they would blatantly not talk to the very same people who put them in position – how condescending. I must add too that when they do talk to us it is thru a senior counsels who has no moral turpitude, a dusgraceful ex priest and nw a papi show Ambassador. So Letang good luck in your endeavor to get a resolution. One thing for sure The Public Work department is a has been to this administration. This is a well calculated plan and believe it or not it is just a matter of time before the China man comes for his property and public works becomes homeless. All this Mumbo jumbo the corrupt administration wants public works gone and the people who are avoiding Letang know that thus the reason they cannot face Letang. What the heck are they going to tell Letang that Letang is not aware off.
    Those of us who keep our eyes and ears open will remember when there was an insidious campaign to denegrate and destroy th reputation of the Public Works department. We had party supporters coming on DNO repeating what the crooks in the Labor Party government wanted ; public work workers were lazy, inefficient, that the Chinese deserve to work the projects over our own local people at public works. Guess what the liars could not tell us that the recession impacted public works because so why not destroy the credibility of the very same institution that built our country from way before these dishonest characters came into government offices.
    I really wish that Leang would stop the pussyfooting, remove the gloves and call the fight even if the timid and intimidated public servants hide out in the locker rooms to scared to look the storm in the eye . At the end of the journey ,Letang should want to say that he left it all on the ocean.
    I say it is time to stop pretendingthat the public works dilemma is coincidence cause it s not. It is deliberate and boldfacely intended. If you think I lie ask the minister and hi brother.

  6. Anonymous
    April 7, 2014

    eh beh waitae

  7. Who cares?
    April 7, 2014

    Who cares about Public Works Corporation continuing to operate or its workers and their families bite a bread?

    With its brand new Asphalt Plant, PWC couldn’t get the contract to asphalt the Road rehab project from Portsmouth to Roseau.

    Gardakhan was allowed, even after he had ordered equipment before getting Planning Division permission, to install his asphalt plant in Layou, close to the village, but PWC was denied by the same Planning Division.

    On top of those PWC financial difficulties, payment problems to workers, a secret deal was made with the Chinese. Dominicans, PWC don’t know what’s going on. PWC area was either sold, leased or given free to Chinese business people to build a hotel there.

    PWC and its workers are being pushed aside, will be forced to vacate the area and make room for the Chinese. Who made that secret deal? who have already brought the Chinese to visit the area? How much was the area sold for, if it was sold?

    The strategy is to dismember PWC, so that some foreign Co. will take over PWC’s operations. Trust me. The strategy has begun. Open your eyes my people. You will stand there and see PWC fall down boop because you love your PM.

  8. me
    April 7, 2014

    PLEASE Mr Letang…if time permits, an I hope that it does…..when u are finished talking about Public Works, squeeze in the plights of the Doctors on island. The 24 hours around the clock schedules and non stop on call, which render doctors little time for their personal life……note, we love our jobs and are doing it and choose it, despite knowing that the hours can me a lot, but in Dominica it is crazy and for very little pay. a consultant’s basic pay is approx. $5000. and junior Dr’s salary is just $1000 less and imagine, an EHO in training without a first degree gets approx. $3000. THese EHO’s are paid full pay, and are to go to college to get the necessary training to get qualified. so they are not qualified yet and get their full salary, these injustices ought to stop. Talk to Skerrit about that, and u as the union leader need to step up cause I a fed up to paying union fees for what?

  9. Expired Cabinet Pill
    April 7, 2014

    @Emile Zapatos, I DO NOT want a repeat of 1979 because it hit me right at home. What I and many Dominicans want is an election. But the way things are shaping in Dominica today, where everyday many fed up laborites are publicly switching to UWP and many more that cannot speak, just waiting on that announcement, I suspect Skerrit will not call the election until the due date. Can we allow him to take us until 2015? We cannot afford to allow Skerrit to completely destroy our Dominica before we get an opportunity to save as much as possible.

  10. african queen
    April 7, 2014

    You all to wicked if it was UWP there would be stike every day. So stop complaining. next yr you all will still vote him; smoke this in your pipe. mechanceté.

    • Papa Dom
      April 8, 2014

      I agree, if it was UWP there would be a strike which, according to saverin would be successful no matter how illegal. However I doubt whether a strike can achieve anything in today’s Dominica. This will just give skerritt the excuse to continue giving work to foreigners.

  11. Shameless
    April 7, 2014

    Mr. Letang, enough is enough. The board will not sit with you or get anything done with you simply because Skero has directed them accordingly. He has finally gotten you to humble and come beg him to hear your plea. He has again proved to you, the union, Dominica and the world at large that only he can make decisions in Dominica. Sadly you have fallen for his ploy.

    STOP paying homage and call a damn strike. Have you not begged and pleaded enough? You start sounding like a broken record to me. If you call the strike and the workers does not take part then move on. Dominicans need to STOP talking and take action when all else has failed. Go talk to President Charlo and he will show you how its done :wink: . But be patient because Change is a MUST, not an option.

    “I AM FOR CHANGE, ARE U?”

    Assertive, NOT Agressive! :twisted:

    • April 7, 2014

      DPSU chair person just haven got the back bone to call a strike instead the members allow themselves to be be littled not only by Skerrit but also by Letang how much longer does it take him to stop begging enough is enough.

  12. TERRIBLE
    April 7, 2014

    The common man working with Public Works cannot pay their bills. You think I can go to a voting booth and remember my unpaid and long outstanding bills and vote for the people who cause it?

  13. Emile Zapatos
    April 7, 2014

    The DPSU should take the matter to court on behalf of the people who have not been paid for service rendered. They should sue the PWC . If not they will be seen as an other political pressure group.

    • Expired Cabinet Pill
      April 7, 2014

      @Emile Zapatos, are you really serious? Which court are you referring too? Do you think we still have a fair justice system in Dominica that protects the people and the constitution? Sorry but that was one of the first arm of the government that was bought and destroyed by hurricane Skerrit. If you are really concerned about PWC workers, then you need to join the rest of us by condemning the actions of our slave masters.

      • Emile Zapatos
        April 8, 2014

        @Expired Cabinet Pill,…………..In the old school it was pay me or get vex with me . We did not go to the courts , we threatened with the cutlass, but now we are asked to go to the “CIVIL” courts for redress.
        So you do not trust the courts and you cant wait for general election . You are advocating “uncivil” mob rule for Dominicans to harm their fellowmen’
        I think the court is the best way if peaceful negotiations fail.

  14. What is wrong/right
    April 7, 2014

    First, it is very easy to make a case against the government of Dominica because they are the parent of the PWC, however like a parent -child relationship the child is just as responsible for their actions. I say this because a few questions needs to be answered by the PWC staff and board.
    1) Based on the works undertaken by PWC, has the board focus on line items where money is being spent that could have been avoided? For instance, does PWC have a good Back-O, excavator, grader or bob-cart? I think the stock of equipment based on a friend information suggest that PWC has (2) graders with one operational at this time, an ailing back-O and 100-Excavator and both later equipment mentioned breaks down frequently. As a result a lot of outsourcing of work that both the back-O and Excavator should be engaged in is undertaken. Why doesn’t the PWC setup a self performing crew for patching and General Contracting work like Off-Shore Civil & Marine which would avoid outsourcing so much work to private people doing maintenance of roads and concrete work? This is another area where PWC can help itself. Also, does PWC have any training programme in place to raise the skills level of workers in Heavy Civil and Construction work? If not why not? Does PWC have fair play as it pertains to having built in $790 into the salaries on non-traveling officers when the supervisors who travel are made to wait for years to receive payment for mileage? You see PWC management and staff have not been helpful to their own cause, they do a lot of talking and rightly so they should speak up, but demand internal audits of their company and show pride in what they do. Now, when the government see these things being addressed the respect comes and the cause of PWC becomes more credible instead of crying fowl and not fixing ones own place of work. In all fairness government cannot do everything although they are complacent in PWC going too far with some of it’s own indiscretions.

    • Drake
      April 8, 2014

      You are so naive I almost felt bad for you. But then again you are trying your best to impress. Do you understand that paper nor concept don’t manage public works. It is the politicians and their personal greed that runs public works.
      Did you stop to wonder how it is that after all these years public works is in such a mess. Well here are a few things to ponder – ministers and operatives of the same Labr Party government ownes heavy equipment and insist on the utilization of their equipment. Now in operate this fact into your assessment. also you spoke about OFFSHORE CIVIL AND MARIN (OFC), well go figure out who ownes that comany. Just to ease your burden let me tell you that the same people who the public works directors must answer too are the ones who own the the OFC. Now this is not conjecture so take this fact and rethink your advice regarding patching crew etc. It is safe to say that while you were in diapers or not yet in diapers public works had crew performing all kind of work activities all over the island. You need to know those things befor you Come trying to impress with your knewly found knowledge.
      It is wise to ask questions first, understand how things work, the history etc.

      • ?
        April 8, 2014

        I was hoping you would answer my questions, since you sound so knowledgeable and am in diapers. Well, am most disappointed to find out that you cannot because your of discussion screams of a narrow minded person seeking to oppose for opposing sake. For your information am old enough to know the accomplishments of PWC and your attempts to educate me on that is not important, but what is important is solutions and I think you need to take a look at your response for a solution. I have taken the time to look for solutions instead of using the vitriol that is prevalent in Dominica discourse.

    • Emile Zapatos
      April 8, 2014

      @ what is wrong/right,…………Is wrong . Moral and Legal, it is totally wrong to deprive people from the sweat of their brow.
      Although we see the ineptitude of the ADMINISTRATIVE
      staff the government is responsible .The ELECTED people must take care of the electorate, that is their jobs. Even those civil servant types do not care how you feed your family and do not get blame for their carelessness , the buck stops with the government and they should step up and man up to their responsibility.
      Their positive action in this case can be looked at as preserving justice and law and order.
      I do not know what kind of advisers they have, but I know that preventing problems is best solution.

  15. d paro kid
    April 7, 2014

    look so long the Caribbean bank did a reclassification of jobs and personnel as it relates to their qualifications and up till now this mess of a government can’t put those matters in order. Instead they here doing a nep that has zero value to Dominica just using the tax payers money as they feel! change is a must, not an option…

  16. native son
    April 7, 2014

    we have to look at the big picture, public works has been put on the back burner simple because the 27million dollars spent on the last election and other outside intrest must get the big money payback contracts, in other words the common people will hear labour have money peanuts will be given to some, but others are given thousand to keep the corruption sailing.

    • Emile Zapatos
      April 7, 2014

      @ native son,……… I wonder where would DAAS get $30M to $50M (my estimates) to pay for the uwp team to contest the next election.
      If the DLP spent $27M last election , how much did the UWP spend , and how much did the Freedom Party spend.

  17. burtdave
    April 7, 2014

    Sometime last year the minister said that they had a business plan for the PWC what has happened to this plan?. Government ministers in three terms of governance can own as much as three expensive houses and drive vehicles in excess of $100,000 yet the majority of civil servants who had mortgages are still paying for them and living from hand to mouth. It is TIME to stop the job for the boys and kick backs that is going on at the sacrifice of the poor families who work at public works. Where have the conscience of our present day leaders and the Blackmore brothers who run the show gone ? SOON THE SECRET WILL BE OUT. enough is enough !!!!!

    • Just Blaze
      April 8, 2014

      Skerrit and his administration have killed the PWC. 1st degree murder. They prefer to give contracts to all private contractors who are also their bon jean so they can get their cut while allowing PWC to sit on the sidelines and rot away. Corruption at its best.

      Like it or not that is the style of politics we have in Dominica and the small island states of the caribbean. Which is why Im worried that if we put a new government in power the same thing might happen.

      These guys from Labor party are so greedy and its getting out of control now. All they concerned about is fattening their pockets. SO much money them man getting under the table through those private contractors. So much little woman them fellers have giving money. Hardly any regard for progress in Dominica on their minds.

      But not to worry even the longest rope have an end. Skerrit, Austrie, Rayburn and the rest allu time will come. I hope the UWP not as bad as they are. I just fed up of that PM I tell you. Fed up.

  18. THINGS ARE TERRIBLE
    April 7, 2014

    Time for action. PWC is owing me over 20,000 for trucking. I have not been able to pay my truck loan and the bank won’t understand. No one can say when they are going to pay. It is frustrating and I am owing everybody.

    • JoJo
      April 7, 2014

      I’m sorry my friend but you will have to wait in line with all the other creditors and you will not be at the front. Tax man comes first, then bank and then employees. You be lucky if anything left, seriously.

  19. I & I
    April 7, 2014

    These politician claim to love the poor so much they keep making more people poor. It’s clear to see people just look all around you.

    • JoJo
      April 7, 2014

      Of course they love the poor, They are the people who keep them in power. You see rich people going to PM’s office on wednesdays?

  20. JoJo
    April 7, 2014

    More and more our country getting into paralysis because everybody is afraid to make a move without the big man’s blessing or instruction.Even then they are trembling in case he still does not approve the way they did things. At the same time he is complaining that he can not do everything himself but he well second-guessing and cursing everybody, even respectable people that could be his father. Something definitely wrong!

  21. PUBLIC WORKS WORKER
    April 7, 2014

    letang in my view you have done enough already, I think you should live it up to people like st luce, skerrit knows him personally. I remember last elections, that man was the most powerful of all labourite, he talked of development now letang supposed to save HIS $$$$$

  22. Morihei Ueshiba
    April 7, 2014

    Letang u need to give skerrit a break, wait after the elections to bring your concerns. 8)

  23. Expired Cabinet Pill
    April 7, 2014

    People, What else must Skerrit and the DLP, ( I voted them too) do for us to get rid of them? What else are we waiting on to get rid of Skerrit and the DLP? Did we allow Patrick John to do that much destruction in 1979? Although I know we are waiting for the next election to teach them a lesson but can we really wait until he calls election? Although I can see the writing on the wall but I am afraid that we don’t have to wait until another ‘Hurricane Skerrit’ flatten the island like David did.

    • Emile Zapatos
      April 7, 2014

      So you want an other 1979. you do not want election.
      Why?

      • April 7, 2014

        A large peaceful demonstration shot down all of Roseau and take to the street people say to yourself you had enough and you a not going to take it any more Letang is just draging his feet he is just buying time and Skerrit is just having a feild day at every one expense go out in large number to force Skerrit to call the election so we can all begin to move forward.

  24. Foot soldier
    April 7, 2014

    This is the total disregard of the Dominican people, by the Government of Dominica that I detest,then again those are the very people who will be approached with $50 to pay for a vote. Dominicans take the $50 because it belongs to you from the treasury department and remember to vote this disrespectful Government out of office . The time has come.

  25. EYE Dominique
    April 7, 2014

    In our quest to keep the opposition out of the cabinet have Dominicans created Monster in cabinet? The Man will just not debate the opposition, he running away and playing pick-a-boo with his much love college students, the man will just not call a press conference to answer our questions,, the man goes on the streets and curses us and sends us to HELL at will, the man goes on the animal show and makes wild accusations like crazy, the man treating PWC directors and workers like the garbage they have to clean and now the DSPU trying to get an audience with him but after how many months it still in limbo? But my God, what is wrong with Dominica? I always use to tell all you that it was not UWP all were destroying but Dominica.. We just succeeded in doing just that.

  26. love I
    April 7, 2014

    You know I VEX about that you know….How can Public Works be in this calamity…isn’t it part of the Ministry of Communications and Works…..Public Works is Dominica’s maintenance staff…I really cannot understand this nonsense.

    • Malgraysa
      April 7, 2014

      Unfortunately no. As the Name implies Public Works Corporation is not an integral part of any Govt. ministry. It is an “incorporated” , separate company although 100% owned by Govt. , It would be my guess that right now the corporation may have more debts than assets and be technically broke but letting it die a natural death right now may well cost the ruling party votes.

      • THINGS ARE TERRIBLE
        April 7, 2014

        Trust me – the common man working with Public Works cannot pay their bills. You think I can go to a voting booth and remember my unpaid and long outstanding bills and vote for the people who cause it?

  27. Dominiquen
    April 7, 2014

    When the previous Board decided to lay-off workers , the Government intervened ;fired board and recalled all the workers.(micromanagement!!!) :?:

  28. Anonymous
    April 7, 2014

    Mr Letang:Has the PUBLIC WORKS CORPORATION ACT ,2006,No. 7 of 2006 been repealed?If not,have the functions,powers and duties of the Board of the Corporation been tranferred to the Prime Minister?

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