UPDATE: Letang says DPSU ‘fed up’ and ready for action

Thomas Letang

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU) Thomas Letang has said that his union has shown patience and tolerance at the disrespect meted out to the union by government and that patience is running out.

Letang was addressing hundreds of public officers on April 11, 2019 on grievances affecting public officers.  “What you see today is the beginning of things to come because we are going all out to get what we want and what is due to us. Nothing is going to keep us back and prevent us from going forward,” Letang said to cheering public officers.

According to Letang, government has not even responded to their letter sent in December 2018 and a follow up in January 2019.

He pointed to many shortfalls in the system which are frustrating his union.

“We have situations where boards have not been appointed, the Dominica Air & Seaport Authority (DASPA) is without a board and therefore our latest proposal to DASPA can’t be approved. No board in place also at the Solid Waste Management Corporation, Letang stated. “We have applied for recognition for the staff at Discover Dominica, two years now and nothing is being done; total disrespect to the union.  At the Public Workers Corporation, after ten years, no salary increases.”

He continued, “In the public service, persons in acting positions for ten years and are yet to be appointed, total injustice. Today, our prime minister thinks he can play on the minds of the people calling our junior clerks to a meeting…wheel and and come again Prime Minister,” Letang remarked. ” You calling junior clerks and telling them you going to build headquarters on high street…you out of place. You have them not able to go to the bank to negotiate for a loan.”

The DPSU Official advised public officers that “the next time the Prime Minister calls you to a meeting you either seat at your desk or call in sick because the Prime Minister has absolutely no right to discuss conditions of employment with employees; the union is the only one so entitled.”

He added, “You disrespecting the union. I heard role call was taken, but let me send a clear message. If one person who did not attend the meeting is touched, is action. We closing down the whole dam country and I mean it.”

Letang said that victimization is real in the public service and must stop and accused the authorities of violating the  basic rules in the public service.

“We shall continue our protest actions until all public officials working in vacant positions for at least two years are appointed…among others including the nurses, teachers who are in vacant positions for years are appointed,” a Letang asserted. “When we speak on your behalf and are being victimized, we will protest. No salary revision, no negotiation, protest…Public Works Corporation, we are with you. Politicians must not manage the Public Service we have to stop that, we will protest to end victimization.”

He also called on Public Officers to wear yellow or orange to work as a form of solidarity effective Friday April 19, 2019 until their demands are met.

“You have nothing to fear, now is the time to hold people by their balls and we are not going to kiss anybody’s donkey we request and demand what is due to us. When you go to work and are dressed in yellow or orange and they ask you to leave, don’t. Let them call the police to put you out,” the DPSU General Secretary instructed his members.

He had more instructions for the public officers.

“I want you to also go to work at 8 am and when it’s 10 am, you stop work and go out for half an hour. You go back to work for another two hours and go out for half an hour and you do that every day until the next rally, Letang further directed.

He said more decisions will be taken at the next rally.

“If we have another rally and no action, it will be S-T-R-I-K-E. I did not say strike; I spelt a word to you,” Letang stated.

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 12, 2019

    “The DPSU Official advised public officers that “the next time the Prime Minister calls you to a meeting you either seat at your desk. ”

    Shouldn’t the word be sit, rather than “seat?”

    A seat is something people sits on; one can be seated on a seat!

    Just an observation.

    In any event too much talk never resolve a problem; especially where it pertains to negotiating employment issues with government.

     If you come to realize that Roosevelt is disrespecting the union, rather than allowing him to step in the face of the union members, you might see some result when you call a union strike, followed by getting the private sector behind you and call a general strike!

    The people’s power are much greater than Roosevelt power.

  2. %
    April 12, 2019

    It’s time for Skerrit’s disrespect for the public officers to stop ..Well said Mr Letang!!!
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    LAZY Skerrit Must Go Now

  3. Ibo France
    April 12, 2019

    The power of a country always resides with the people. The people gave Skerrit and the DLP the power to help to improve their lives; they have taken this power and fatten their bank accounts while suffocating the rest of the country. Dominica, under Sherrit’s stewardship, has broken all records in futility. I dare the government to dispute these facts all in comparison to countries in the sub-region:
    *Lowest minimum wage
    *Highest unemployment rate per capita
    *Highest poverty rate
    *Worst infrastructural developments
    This list could be extended ad nauseam. Let’s rid the country of this anti-progressive autocracy.

      April 12, 2019

      Ibo MALAPROP France, take it easy. Jealousy is a TERRIBLE sickness!
      Get well soon!

    • Youth
      April 14, 2019

      You are the one who is sick! Go take a Skerrit purge! If you think that our standard of living is low and our per capita is balanced, then you are a couloumounou

  4. REAL!!!!
    April 12, 2019

    Well done Mr. Letang and his Members.

    This nonsense has to come to a HALT!!!!

  5. Maybe
    April 12, 2019

    PM dont give a crap about hard working dominicans all he doing is giving all you money away to buy himself in for next election lets shut it down lazy skerrit and has cabal need to go

  6. Chocolate
    April 12, 2019

    Time for action!!

  7. Truthbtold
    April 12, 2019

    Whilst the civil servants are denied what is due to them this Govt is giving the block boys 20k to 25k to buy cats and jeeps. Kenny G got 10 duty free approvals while some nurses are denied . Blatent disrespect!!

  8. April 12, 2019

    Forward we go thank you sir mr letang for your continued commitment and courage you have shown for the people of Dominica.

    • D/can yo de bone (F)
      April 13, 2019

      Politics in the DPSU…hy he dont put on his political blue gown and get out d an leave he union for unionist

  9. My Eyes Red
    April 12, 2019

    I totally endorse the position of Mr. Letang and the PSU, even if I so red that even my eyes Red. PM must respect the workers, people of Dominica and their union because it is the job of any union to fight for their members. I find PM is too rude and out of place and we all, laborites and others must let him know that even if we voted for him we will not allow him to destroy our Union or country

  10. Sybil nowell
    April 12, 2019

    Bravo Dominicans you guys don’t want to pay taxes but want pay rises. I agree that wages have remained frozen for a while, but changes in the way you think needs to change.
    You don’t put in why should you get.
    Dominica is the only country in the world where people dont pay any taxes ask Guadelloupe,Barbados and other countries wherd people grow.
    As usual want want and more want but the money won’t last it is not well earned.
    It doesn’t matter what colour you are politically you are all the f…… same

    • Amino
      April 12, 2019

      I think you’ll find that we all pay tax.

    • Confused
      April 12, 2019

      So you are saying that: income tax, 15% VAT, port duties, environment levy, highway maintenance fee, departure tax (which used to be $45 now increased to $86, with an additional arrival tax), all that we pay are not taxes? Its incredible how our own people are the ones to defend the exploitation and mistreatment of their own…

      What we have in Dominica is the mismanagement of all the taxes that we pay. For example, the environmental levy, I always wonder what this money is being used for because it sure is not being use to maintain the environment and landscape of the country. The highway/road maintenance levy…do you see the state of roads in the country? What are they doing with all the taxes that are being collected?

    • Karl Orndem
      April 12, 2019

      now is the time people. But majority of us depend on the half a bread we get monthly. Most of us cannot afford to jeopardize that especially if we have children. We will say yes master and continue working while grumbling under our breath. All you think it easy so in Dominica? The place doesnt have jobs. when there is a job they want you to have experience. Every year younger and smarter children graduate, what happends to those already in the system fighting to hold on to a pay check? Things are very rough here in Dominica, but it has to get much worse before it can get better. Mother nature will show us more. Just wait for it.

    • Pipo
      April 12, 2019

      You are an …… Of course people in Dominica pay taxes. Ask the civil servants how much is deducted from their pay. ask them how much vat they must pay, how much import duty. Even books are taxed when sent to you through the post Office. Who doesn’ get taxed are passport Sellers that do their business through a separate business in Dubai.

  11. P Wright
    April 12, 2019

    It’s about time that people stand up to the dictator. Dominica can’t go on like this! Public service unhappy, nurses unhappy, citizens unhappy. We all need to take to the streets and bring the country to a standstill until the dictator resigns, and not a minute earlier.

  12. April 12, 2019

    Thank you Mr Letang for your continued commitment and love for country

  13. Braindamage
    April 11, 2019

    Skerrit dimples must have widened a bit.
    He knows Letang is playing a joke. :lol:

  14. Ibo France
    April 11, 2019

    Nothing a government fears more than the power of the people when the citizens are united and speak with one voice, God’s voice. The government is the servant of the people and not the other way around. Sherrit presides over a ONE-MAN-GOVERNMENT. How can one man be more powerful than 70 000 inhabitants? Stand up Dominicans and discard all your fears for you are large and in charge.

  15. Bwa-Banday
    April 11, 2019

    Mr. Letang I am with you 100000000%. Time for boots on the ground. No one can say you did not work with the government. Even me at one time thought you were just playing games because the cabal was paying on. My apologies sir because I now realize you just exerting diplomacy.

    Now, the has come so they are warned. No more games. Solidarity forever.

  16. Dominica
    April 11, 2019

    Mr. Letang, presenters, and audience I say a job well done. Keep the fire burning this was a powerful meeting that was reassuring to listen to. Indeed, the spirit is a moving!

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