PWC workers, DPSU defy Public Works Minister

PWC workers continue protest action on Monday
PWC workers continue protest action on Monday

Workers at the Public Works Corporation (PWC) and the union that represents them, the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), have defied a deadline given by Public Work Minister, Ian Pinard, that protest action at the institution should end on Monday (today).

A tough-talking General Secretary of the DPSU, Thomas Letang, told workers on Monday morning that the protest will continue and could even be escalated.

“If the minister feels that he is king and we are subjects, we want to tell him that he is making a mistake,” he said. “That minister is too small to force anyone to go back to work … tell him to come again. We are ready, we are prepared and the only thing we can do is to escalate that protest action.”

Staff of the PWC have been protesting for weeks now over a number of issues affecting them, among them late salaries, the non-payment of Social Security contributions and benefits and the hazardous conditions that they are forced to work in daily.

The workers are also peeved that a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), which was to be signed between the workers and management to give a time frame for dealing with some of the issues, is still unsigned.

Last week Pinard described the protest as ‘illegal’ and said the workers should return to work on Monday.

He also said the MOU is unecessary since it gave a time frame for addressing salary and Social Security payments; matters, which he said, have been taken care of by the government.

But Letang keeps insisting the MOU must be signed.

“No matter how much threats that we get, we are not going to end that protest action until the MOU is signed,” he told the workers. “The issue is not just the non payment of salaries … there are a number of other factors and very important to us is the question of Social Security. We have said repeatedly that we do not expect the PWC to get up and to clear all the debts to Social Security on your behalf but definitly we need information as to what arrangements are being put in place to honor that debt of $700,000.”

He continued, “It is not right, it is not fair that people fall sick and they cannot go to Social Security and have their claims honored. It cannot be fair that if people retire tomorrow, their pension will not be what it has to be…”

Letang’s statement was greeted by a round of applause from the protesting PWC workers.

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  1. ???????????
    June 9, 2015

    But they got paid so what is the problem?

  2. malaywe crying
    June 9, 2015

    Ah magway sa. You mean this government does not have a heart. Poor people being treated like that? And what salaries they getting, peanuts. God is seeing, man don’t take bread from man mouth. Mouth shall eat and man children shall eat and shall be allowed to go to school for an education. Well well well, the struggle continues. Mr. Letang, don’t back down, fight to the end with Public Works workers. This government taking the Union for a joke, their dictatorship move is to put fear in us Dominicans. We should not back down; we need to call out every Union member in the State and bring this country to a halt. What happen, the public Works people don’t mean enough for us to stand up with them? Something got to happen, lets make the move now, today is Public Works tomorrow is ours. Lets all go out on the streets and protest, public and private sector. Shut down the country!!!

  3. Looking
    June 9, 2015

    Fight for your rights no mater what!!!!! Change must come that is how we get what we need in Dominica. If we dont stand up things dont change.

  4. June 9, 2015

    These PWC traitors and troublemakers should either get back to work or go home. The issue of Social Security payments and late pay WILL be addressed in due time. The mighty Labour Power keeps its promises. If these lazy men and women refuse to comply with the order to return to work, send them home and close Public Works for good.

    • RasNah
      June 9, 2015

      Thanks for that. You are the definition of a true labourite. Your Great Leader will provide for you. May he provide for all you and your children’s needs for millenia to come.

      June 9, 2015

      I am indeed surprised, Mr. Labourof Love, that it is ONLY THAT you are recommending for these “traitors and trouble makers!! Better yet, advise the Dishonourable minister to :
      1. teargas them
      2. dehumanize them
      3. hose them down
      4. get the bomb squad to blow them up
      5. get the SWAT team to kick them you know where and, finally, after the first have been accomplished, lock them up at Stockfarm, sodomize their offspring and THEN, employ you and your loved ones!!!!
      You, clearly “doh no yuh a## from your elbow”.

    • Joan
      June 9, 2015

      Labour of Love, please put your picture and real name if you are so brave and devoted to Skerrit. You should have special immunity from everything. Please put your pic and your real name, I dare you.

    • Proud Dominican
      June 9, 2015

      Proverbs Chapter 22 Verse 22-23

      Don’t rob the poor just because you can,
      or exploit the needy in court.

      For the lord is their defender.
      He will ruin anyone who ruins them.

    • Proud Dominican
      June 9, 2015

      Proverbs 23 Verse

      Don’t waste your breath on fools,
      for they will despise the wisest advice.

      LabourOfLove I suggest you start making the bible your best friend and read the book of proverbs.

    • Analy Thomas
      June 10, 2015

      I suspect you do not have a job!

  5. shania
    June 9, 2015

    Thomas Letang only these mediocre you can turn into fools like that not well educated Civil Servants after you cost them the lost of so much money from the non sense sick out you had some time ago. These people were paid all monies due to them so effective Monday 8th June, 2015 record should be taken of attendance and whether they work or not and they should not receive pay for whatever period they don’t work. There is mention of some staffing restructuring in the MOU half of them may be going home they are lead so blindly by Letang not realising they might be one of them and letang just there collecting $20.00 every month from public officers for doing nothing for them. Shame on you Mr Letang, very much disappointed in you. That’s where you find strength enjoy it. Time for you to resign and put someone who thinks out of the box.

  6. I shall not want
    June 8, 2015

    The $1.5M going to the gas station account can help to pay these workers.
    After all it’s Dominica’s and Dominicans money.

  7. Observer
    June 8, 2015

    Government should move quickly, pay the workers, pay social security all outstanding commitments and then reorganize the Corporation. Mr. Letang can howl and puff, threaten to escalate as much as he wants, but he cannot stop reorganization. If Mr. Letang feel today that he has some strength, government is to be blamed for changing the law to allow the Union to represent workers outside of the Public Service. I know Public Servants are not interested in Mr. Letang

  8. Doc. Love
    June 8, 2015

    It will be very interesting to see how united is the Public Service Union. If the union members do not support the PWD workers especially if the protest action escalates, don’t expect Skeritt and his Government to ever take the union seriously. A friend in need is a friend in deed, political affiliations must be dumped in the cabbage bin. The survival of your union should be all that matters, because it is the PWD workers now, who knows, yours might be later and even worse.

  9. Mad Max
    June 8, 2015

    Applaud, Applaud – Stand up against these ministers who live lavishly while the poor man cant get paid

  10. Concerned Dominican
    June 8, 2015

    I too want to support Mr. Letang and his struggle for worker’s rights!! Keep itup. Longterm solution

  11. REAL!!!!
    June 8, 2015

    This GOVT don’t care about how poor people and their families survive in Dominica.

    As long as they can keep them in a position to beg they are very happy.

  12. Sochi
    June 8, 2015

    First time I see Mr Letang standing firm. You are right brother Letang. If the workers cannot stand up now that they are of working age, is is when they are 70 and 80 they will be able to stand up? And at the same time $$millions$$$$ from our passport money being blatantly misappropriated right in front our eyes and this is not being called illegal!!

  13. DA Citizen
    June 8, 2015

    Well, well, well. It seems all protests in Dominica are illegal now? That seems to be the government’s famous line. Nobody should protest apparently. Just keep quiet and let us do what we want (that should be the government’s slogan). Such ridiculousness!!

  14. BK Group Lap Wet
    June 8, 2015

    Stop being a Labour Puppet Pinard After all Pinard aka (Butler) put yourself in the peoples shoes. How would you feel if you or a member of your family was in that situation. working and not getting paid. Social Security not being paid. Think of it Pinard you as a sick person cannot submit your social security form how would you feel. You never know where you will be tomorrow. Stop putting your family to shame these people are not animals they are human beings like you who deserve to be treated with respect the same way you want to be treated with respect. This type of behaviour does not look like you at all. Be a man Be a true son of the soil of Lap wet St Luke and do what is right stop following these corrupt people stand up be a man and treat those people justly. Where have all your moral values gone to Butler. Fr Moody should be turning in his grave hearing how you behaving now. Don”t let those peoples TEARS fall on you Boy. Do You have a heart Shame Shame Shame

  15. Bella
    June 8, 2015

    But Combo! who cares if they continue to strike they will eventually be phased out. For years thats is the same pose the workers have because there is no work to do. Where in the world you hearing people hijacking their employer. Only in DA we too free. What example are you all showing your children.

    You cannot prevent an employer from entering his business, this is wrong.

    No way will you reach 47 days, do even try that. I hope they do expect to get pay. So Public works only use those who want to work and llove their children and family.


  16. AVLIM
    June 8, 2015

    Well Well Well……it seems SOMEONE in this country has cahonez (balls).

  17. AVLIM
    June 8, 2015

    Well Well Well……it seems SOMEOME in this country has cahonez (balls).

  18. Shameless
    June 8, 2015

    Finally, finally, finally it looks like Mr. Letang has grown some serious cahunas. I like it, I like it, I really really like it 8) .

    Let me see if the DLP Ton-Ton-Macoute (formerly know as the SSU) will once again tear gas the protesters with expired chemical weapons. I too will join the protest if and when Mr. Letang calls for escalation.

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :twisted: :twisted:

  19. Di Country Nice..
    June 8, 2015

    So it is in Dominica at the moment! #If U wanna see change then U MUST protest smh!!

  20. combo
    June 8, 2015

    well done mr. letang… well done…. i find that minister full of
    workers are protected under the laws and government minister or prime minister or president have no right to order them to go back to work when the labour standards are not being upheld…..the minister should be fired himself for forcing people to work in absence of the standards… what will they order next.. that the workers work for free…. like slaves…..? well done letang…..

    • June 9, 2015

      They already working for free.. :lol: :lol:

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