UPDATE: Industrial action at Public Works

Striking public works employees braving the rain outside the company's office.
Striking public works employees braving the rain outside the company’s office.

The Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), the union that’s representing workers at the Public Works Corporation, has vowed that workers will stay off the job until their demands are met and someone in authority gives them some assurance as to “the way forward.”

Public works staff wearing protest t-shirts on Thursday, embarked on industrial action saying that they “are in limbo and are owed a few fortnights.”  

“We have a number of issues that we have been confronted with for some time now, and I believe that the time has come when we can no longer tolerate it and take it. Something has to be done to send a clear message to the powers that be,” DPSU General Secretary, Thomas Letang, told reporters.

He explained that “a fortnight is being owed to the employees, three weeks of holiday pay owed them has not been settled and they have absolutely no idea when it will be paid since nobody has had any discussions with them or their union.”

Letang also mentioned the non-payment of Social Security contributions. “They are also experiencing difficulties in getting benefits because of that. We also have no idea as to who is in charge at the Corporation. There is no manager or an acting manager and we have no idea who to turn to and no one wants to take the responsibility,” he stated.

Public Works 4According to the union leader, the future of the staff is also a major issue. “The area is earmarked for a hotel and they have had discussions with people who have also come on the site to look at it and to date, no one has said a word to us on the matter,” he pointed out. “It is disrespectful to us and we will not tolerate it. We have written several times to management, it has reached the board and yet no action. They have also violated a number of provisions of the collective agreement. We will continue our protest action until we are satisfied that our demands are met,” Letang remarked.

Meanwhile Security Officer at the Corporation, F. Germain, told DNO that he is fed up and wants the matter resolved. “We are hurting, we are not being paid families are being disrupted, mortgages are not being serviced and look my girlfriend has threatened to leave me if I don’t come home with money,” he said.

He vows to continue in the protest until the workers’ demands are met.

 

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79 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 10, 2014

    So far I’m not hearing a squeak from Tim-Tim, the parl rep for this area. But the grapevine telling me of an alleged ro ro between him and the govt. evaluator who put $7.5 million on that site but the politicians them decide to let the chinese have it at $5 million Is that true.Have they found another site for PWC if they are interested in its survival? Let Tim Tim tell them if he wants their vote.

  2. Too Late
    January 10, 2014

    hear that eh. soon the government going to say is public works that owing them and Fast N Furious going to say is true. remember they say is Venezuela owing us

  3. pwc
    January 10, 2014

    take the protest to the streets take it to the ministries stop staying in pwc grounds and protest the big boys cant see u all there they dont care whether or not u all work.block the blackmoore’s offices block the pm office block the roads block the Chinese just protest out of pwc grounds

  4. hmm
    January 10, 2014

    they killing pwc because they have the boys and them doing the works that pwc should be doing by law.. eg. road maintenance,they took it over black and blacks.. when u hv blacks and bro blacks running a ministry what u expect is conflict of interest that their so all man looking for themselves and not the country and its people first…we can buy no equipments we are denied proper tools to perform and then they say we are inefficient how ironic. they appoint ple to manage the place with no vision along for themselves and their circles and not to move this place forward for all to benefit.. we want to know whats next and until such time we eh giving up blacks.. whats the plan for pwc… our job security that’s our major concern when we secure money will come.

  5. i hungry pwc
    January 10, 2014

    jah boy i never kno so dominican politician wicked an badmind..kya believe some thing allu laborites sayin bout poor exploited pple.wat if some of us decide to raise d crime rate a lil bit huh. shoot down useless ministers vehicles when they pass.raid dere mini castles kidnap an ransom dem and dere disciples.allu would sing a different song.dominicans prevent these frm comin into effect an do wat has to be done get rid of mister dem

  6. Porssie In NYC
    January 10, 2014

    I don’t understand how it is that our people are sitting by and allow this corrupt regime to run railroad thru their backyard. The government has sold the property to crooked Chinese businessmen and the poor people are not sure what is going to happen to them.
    By the time the people decide to get rid of Skerrit and his government it may be too late.

    They are not interested in people like me coming home to vote cause my vote will be in a constituency that the people blindly support a political party- not an ideology, not a progressive mentality. Right now I know of a couple of friends from other parts of Dominica that have been approached to go home and vote with free ticket and money in the pocket.

  7. Rhum Bucco
    January 10, 2014

    What do these people at public works do anyway. This place needs to be shut down period. Is Mr. Letang un-aware that the world is still struggling with an economic recession? I DO NOT THINK SO. :(

    • Mamizoo
      January 11, 2014

      Oh my god!!! For a political party or one man. Sad sad sad. Out of words. Peope lie you defend the self enriching politicians and calling for the jobs of poor people.

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 2014

        Actually there is some thruth to there , speed and efficiency are not one of there strong points. Unfortunately thr chinese cope well under pressure and know how to compete you can’t get rid of them you just have to up your game, dominica does not belong to china , or to corrupt politicians(those you can get rid of at the next election if you so choose)

  8. #
    January 10, 2014

    In my opinion…whether they stay on the job or stay off it makes no difference, them man doesn’t do ….. Look at the state of the roads in Roseau. Id fire all of them and replace them with machinery. Least i know when i press a button the work we need done like clearing the overgrown bush from roads (all roads not just under canefield cliff) removal of garbage and derelict vehicles, proper road signage, guttering and lighting to name a few. We wasting $ paying ppl to do work and the place not looking any better. Too much politricks and dishonest ppl who just want to sit aside n collect $ jus for showing up. Then man not new and innovative in any form. The Public works garage should be state of the art and orderly. I dont think the new chinese hotel is a good idea for where they propose it, but @ least that area where public works is now would look a hell of a lot better. I would make there a cruise village and pavillion. Just my 2 cents. like it or leave i don’t really care.

  9. NicE n NaughtY
    January 10, 2014

    It’s about you all stand for your rights hard work and months without pay bills and other commitments to meet, the bosses getting paid and the men and women on the ground cannot get a dime for their sweat, how do they expect these people to survive.

    • Anonymous
      January 12, 2014

      Hard work , if that was the case there would a public demonstration .

  10. Not Me Alone
    January 9, 2014

    Mr. Letang is a joke and Skerrit will continue to treat him as such. He needs to sit from Charles Savarin and find out how to organize a protest. Why should I continue to pay DPSU and have General Secretary Letang behave like a baby like he is doing? Mr. Letang, its been about 5yrs now since public works is not relevant. It’s a while now since our public works workers are of Chinese descent. In case you did not take note, Mr. Skerrit made it clear the that the site will be the new home of a Chinese built hotel. In fact he even had some courtesy this time by informing the nation of day the site would be inspected by Chinese for the said hotel. If the DPSU had any backbone in them, if they really cared about the people they represent, they would have dealt with Skerrit long time ago. So to come now crying about they owe your guys a fortnight and vacation time to me makes no sense. I have heard Blackmore trash down public work workers several time and you did nothing. Stop playing games and be as bold as Charles Savarin. After all you have nothing to lose if you shut down the country. Maybe a few years later you might be rewarded with presidency like Savrin was rewarded.

  11. MWEN MEN
    January 9, 2014

    yah boy,,, big tune.. Blows on dem magician politicians Making You Think Things Sweet – When It Sour

  12. choo
    January 9, 2014

    ALL YOU MUST LISTEN WELL TO BOOPLAY CALYPSO WELL ,, MONEY MAGICIAN POLITICIANS,,, WHERE DE MONEY

  13. browmskinsugar
    January 9, 2014

    EH BEH LOOK IT. BUT ALL SHALL EAT.

  14. Malatete
    January 9, 2014

    “It is in the interest of Dominica to have a PWC that is viable . We have to work with the PWC and give them the support and guidance and we have seen some improvements”

    Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore, DNO Sept. 20, 2011

  15. Muslim_Always
    January 9, 2014

    The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is reported to have said, “Pay a man before his sweat dries.”

    • Malgraysa
      January 9, 2014

      Ah muslim, what do you do if the man doesn’t sweat?

      • Pshy -out
        January 10, 2014

        Ask ur partner Jaime Astaphan malgraysa.
        Do you have a straight line to him in-e-l?
        When are you going to join ur friend where he lives now. does he have a landline or a cell?
        You would know.

      • .
        January 10, 2014

        Send him to the RED clinic

  16. eyes are bleed
    January 9, 2014

    i can only think of two letters D & R divide and rule. keep the poor against the rich and the fortunate against the less fortunate and you will stay in power.one thing i kno about my dominican people is when they fed up they fed up so it’s only a matter of time. even if its when it reach on their dorsteep they will take a stance for the better

  17. grell
    January 9, 2014

    Country has so much to offer and its being ruined by dirty politicians,and partner if your woman threaten to leave you,she’s just their for your money,and am sure another guy comes home while your @ work.

  18. Rule
    January 9, 2014

    While Skerro is in New Jersey hosting extravagant free dinner party for his illegal voters, these poor people have not seen a pay check in months.

    • LORD HELP US
      January 9, 2014

      WHEN WILL WE STOP MAKING STATEMENTS AND WE HAVE NO CLUE OF WHAT WE ARE SAYING

    • LORD HELP US
      January 9, 2014

      ALL PUBLIC WORKS NEED RIGHT NOW IS TO BE REORGANIZED , MAKE THE RIGHT SELECTION SET UP MANAGEMENT TEAM ,FORGET ABOUT BOARD , LET THE P S AN C T O BE RESPONSIBLE TO TAKE OVER THE PLANNING OF THE COOPERATION WITH THE NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM, THE SELECT WORKERS THAT ARE WILLING TO SEE PWC MOVE IN A FORWARD DIRECTION THERE ARE POSITIVE INDIVIDUALS IN THERE

      • Anonymous
        January 10, 2014

        Do you even know what you are talking about

    • waters 69
      January 9, 2014

      iTS HIGHT TIME WE STOP MAKING STATEMENT WE DO KNOW ABOUT THATS VERY BAD ON WE PPL?

    • gaza
      January 9, 2014

      stop exaggerating,it hasnt been months,cant you read?

    • FAST N FURIOUS
      January 9, 2014

      Really?So what is Lennox and his gang doing there(NJ)? All you donation money they sewoing with eating Ham,Turkey and Steak and they washing that down with wine and beer.

  19. LORD HELP US
    January 9, 2014

    IT SEEMS PEOPLE ARE BLIND LOOK AT ALL THE ROAD PROJECTS THAT PUBLIC WORKS UNDERTOOK TELL ME WHICH ONE OF THE FOREIGN CONTRACTORS DO BETTER THAN PUBLIC WORKS THEY HAVE A BIG ADVANTAGE THEY GOT ALL THE RESOURCES THEY NEED , THEY GOT ALL THE EQUIPMENT THEY NEED , WHY NOT GIVE P W C THE TOOLS THAT THEY REQUIRE ,THE GUYS CAN WORK THEY KNOW WHY THEY DONT WANT TO GIVE THE P W C THE TOOLS

  20. January 9, 2014

    the minister in charge of public works department is giving all the road repairs job to his close associates and allowing public works to run bankrup and cannot pay workers shame on the minister it is alleged that some ministers have heavy equipment competing with the coorperation they making all the money little contractors and small coorperation like public works cannot get a job shame on these people who use to shout all shall eat you can run but you cant hide change is a must

    • **************
      January 9, 2014

      Ha! Ha! Well if is now you get to know that, you are very late in getting information.Many people know who they are.

  21. GRW
    January 9, 2014

    Those who can see and refuse to see let them get hit with log right on the forehead.

    What did government do when the aerial tram was in trouble? They allow the jobs and the aerial tram business to go up in flame because special interest had their eye on the geothermal venture. Well the public Works area has special interest too and so public works must also go up in flame so that the Chinese can come in build their hotel and do the work that public works is responsible for.

    Daryl did you see that part of the MOU? lol

    • rosebud
      January 9, 2014

      Was the aerial tram a government project? I did not know that? So government has to fix everybody’s bad business that has failed? We are quick to say that Dominica is the poorest country in the whole wide world, and we still expect the government to do everything for everybody with money it does not have. When the government gets grants and loans from other countries we are still vexed. What exactly do we DO MI IN CANS want?

      • Anonymous
        January 9, 2014

        So Rosebud aerial tram was not Govt. project but it was Govt. business to give the Person in charge when it bust a manager job straight away at discoverr dominica? How come?

      • GRW
        January 9, 2014

        Is it the same government who gave LIAT $8 million; spend $27 million on a o slace; giving money for votes with no accountability and no dusta inable job creation.

  22. Doc. Love
    January 9, 2014

    This is a deliberate act by the Skeritt Labor Government. The plan is to justify Government’s move to get rid of Public Works so that Chinese will get little or no problems in occupying the land for their Hotel. :mrgreen:

    • rosebud
      January 9, 2014

      I really did not know although I listen to the news on all radio stations and read all the newspapers published on the island, and listen to many talk shows, I did not learn that the hotel to be built would belong to the Chinese. Well, it is said that where ignorance bliss, it is folly to be wise.

      • GRW
        January 10, 2014

        Rosebud stop being a deceiver. How does government take a loan to build hotel when hotel business is private enterprise – that is not the function of government. How does a government take a loan to build a hotel and the construction is to be done by Chinese.
        The hotels in Dominica are struggling and the government is building a hotel to further destroy those where privateers have invested their resources.
        None of these make sense Rosebud and you know that very well. It only stand to reason that in the absence of transparency and in the era of government mass deception that people should assume that the hotel is to be built by private investors and not the government of Dominica.

  23. Frenz
    January 9, 2014

    Public Works still belong to the government technically. If it is not then why it is that the minister and his brother that is directing from behind the scene.

    The only reason that public works was structured into a corporation is because a certain company wanted the cat blanche to hijack government projects. It is not a Chinese company by the way.

    Guys like Mr Letang and the make shift directors of Public Works know what is going on but they are afraid to talk about it.

    • T
      January 9, 2014

      Happy so many people know what is going on.

      • Anonymous
        January 12, 2014

        Time to vote , B & Co your time is up.

  24. January 9, 2014

    pourquoi changer une belle iles de la dominica oui je cest que l,argent vous avais besoin mes bon cest la vie de tout changer

    • Jay
      January 9, 2014

      Valerie, if you must use French, at least do it properly. Don’t insult the language and embarrass yourself.

  25. More Money
    January 9, 2014

    Well magistrate look out is now woman going and volere weave and jeans cause public works cyan pay the men.

  26. Really?
    January 9, 2014

    Here we go gain. Who is responsible for Public Works? Letang can you give us some more information in order that we may be able to stand with you all? Who should be speaking to you all? I understand that the Government is not responsible for Public Works. Is that true and if so have you asked that they intervine?

    We are here making allegations and blaming other people because we don’t have all the information. PM this is a time to step in, ensure that the people get paid.

    Not withstanding that, I have my own belief on Public Works. That sem to be everywhere. They work slow and in to many numbers. One man with a spade, one with a broom, two giving water, three trying to control traffic on a three hour project that last three days.

    But the people work, so pay them. As it realtes to replacing that place with a hotel, I am all the way for it. Let us see something beautiful when approaching the City.

    • LORD HELP US
      January 9, 2014

      BE HONEST WITH YOUR SELF THERE ARE HARD WORKERS AT P W C YE THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE USELESS

      • Lang Mama
        January 9, 2014

        The useless ones are those who were hand picked by the ministers. You forget the lady that was in public Works didn’t know her behind from a front but she had big job simply because she was the concubine of a certain minister.

        I eh carrying no counterfeit papa

  27. Dominican Cry
    January 9, 2014

    Why are they doing this, Everybody is working to earn a living, how are they going to feed their family with no money. #haveaheart

  28. BEACHPILOT437
    January 9, 2014

    These things must happen cause the government wants to make public works redundant to source the work to chinese and their party followers . I don’t blame them cause previous administrations did the same , they just did not do it so blatantly .

    • Really?
      January 9, 2014

      If something isn’t viable what should you do with it? Let it go. That is however no excuse for not paying the people.

  29. Shameless
    January 9, 2014

    Good job fellas!! I applaud you for taking a stance where Letang seems to be dragging his feet. Like the Government his bread is well buttered with your contribution yet he will not take decisive action when needed. If he does not mobilize the rest of the union in support of you guys then call for his firing along with that of Mr.Blackmoore. Enough is enough!

    I hope the Tippers Association find it fit to join you guys so their issues can be finally resolved as a combined effort. UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL! I will join you guys on the sidelines to show support. Just remember that Change Must Come…

    Assertive, NOT Agressive!

    • Really?
      January 9, 2014

      I thought it is Latang who is organizing this? You people just saying what you want because you got your own bias.

      • Shameless
        January 9, 2014

        He may be organizing it but that is a half-hearted effort on his part. This has been simmering for far too long and should mobilize ALL fellow DPSU workers in the state to show that he has some cahoonas. This action lacks decisiveness and will yield little as usual. DPSU has become a laughing stock under Letang’s watch. But Change Will Come…

        Assertive, NOT Agressive!

  30. Belfrey
    January 9, 2014

    Public Servants should follow suit for their long overdue and rightful increase. Now is the best time. The sooner the better. Where have all the millions gone? Gone to villain, every one? gone to the villas, every one? The answer my friends is blowing in the wind. Strike!

    • rosebud
      January 9, 2014

      Keep on blowing in the wind. You are blowing much air.

  31. ArAb
    January 9, 2014

    OK…RAISE salaries in Dominica and make it more difficult to obtain foreign currency. Even if a country prints it’s own money, one of the major problems is being able to purchase foreign currency and the country’s buying power.

    Therefore pay more money, make it easier to obtain locally produced and good made in EC using or trading countries, raise taxes on importation of goods which are not from the region and we produce in the region and lastly make it harder to purchase foreign cash.

    Thanks

    • looking
      January 9, 2014

      every country needs foreign cash (the US dollar) to do international trade. We can’t us EC on the international market

      • ArAb
        January 9, 2014

        If looking can read and understand, the reason for making it harder for individuals to purchase foreign currency is as to not over burden the county’s reserves.

        Do some research

  32. Lang Mama
    January 9, 2014

    One thing I know when the dimpled crook and them Chinese come for their land if all you stand up in front of the Chinese Bulldozer they will Tiananmen Square all you A$$$.

    Is not all you PM all U luv nuh – so long the signs on the wall. When public works getting subcontract work from private company owned by ministers ,their brother , Francis E for egwa. DNO I wouldn’t call the company name but the evidence is there and Lang Mama have it but DNOmust gee me a reporting job

  33. street side
    January 9, 2014

    Reflects how Dominica is Ruled…

    Thought Poverty was on the decrease and Dominica was Doing Better than all the other Caribbean islands.

    It’s a FOOLS PARADISE….Dominica!

    • rosebud
      January 9, 2014

      He who knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him. YOU

  34. DOMINICAN
    January 9, 2014

    I DONT THINK STRIKING IS THE WAY OUT U GUYS STRIKE ONE DAY AND GET PAYED AND U ALL STOPPED SO U GUYS ARE TAKEN FOR A JOKE GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY LET THE PPL KNOW U ALL ARE NOT A JOKE
    AND START LOOKING FOR OTHER MEANS OF EMPLOYMENT

  35. Roseau
    January 9, 2014

    This is just another example that DLP administration cannot run the day to day affiars of the country.
    If Charles Saverin was the President of the Union, we would already have bigger demonstrations all over the island.
    Tell & show them how to do it Mr. Misplace President.

  36. Morihei Ueshiba
    January 9, 2014

    Not again, come on Letang it is 2014, so long u fellas striking and nothing happens, just leave things as they are and pray skerrit will pay u all later in the year follow the example of the truckers.

    • JoJo
      January 9, 2014

      The union have their duty free vehicles already.

    • rosebud
      January 9, 2014

      Tell the people who manage the Public Works to PAY the PEOPLE. Why not blame the ones who are responsible? Why does Letang not know who is responsible? He and the other workers should know when the manager is on leave who replaces that manager. This sounds rather stupid to me. So who has been giving directives and overseeing activities at Public Works? Were people just doing as they please in the absence of the manager/supervisor? Don’t give me that.

  37. Love I
    January 9, 2014

    Isn’t Public Works part of the Ministry????? what is all this twallala…..are they not Government workers, to build and maintain roads etc?????….it is a real shame that these people have to suffer like this.

    • Jay
      January 9, 2014

      Unfortunately not. A|s the name implies Public Works Corporation is a company, a separate legal entity and not a Govt. Dept. Their workforce are not Govt. employees. Although the Govt. of Dominica owns all the shares, the company is responsible for the liabilities it incurs, such as payments to suppliers, creditors and employees etc. In fact, the company could be declared bankrupt, owing the Govt. money as an unsecured creditor.

      • Drake
        January 9, 2014

        And who or what is suppose to provide the jobs for the corporation? Who provides direction to management?
        Oh yeh that is what we expect from you apologists of the criminal Labor Party – blame everything and every body else.

      • Reader
        January 9, 2014

        Thanks for clarifying Jay. Unfortunately, folks like Drake lack basic comprehension skills. (sigh)

      • observer
        January 9, 2014

        What kind of corporation is that? The government own ALL shares, yet it is not part of government? That sounds dumb. If you own all the shares in a company , that’s your company. If the company is not profitable, then you can shut it down, or reorganize. But you are responsible for ensuring that the company pay it’s employees. How can you own a company that does not pay its employees!

      • Drake
        January 9, 2014

        Smarty pants the government own all the shares- technically who own the company. Who decide upon management? Who call the shots? Who decides who get employed at public works. Boss stop fooling people with mumbo jumbo legal antics.
        I worked at public works and saw what was going on first hand. Plenty plenty corruption. directors must play by the books of a minister and his brother. I have plenty examples that I can drop but will not do so to protect friends and former coworkers. But tie will tell.
        Keep trying to cover up the filthiness of the government administration. The truth is a stubborn …..

  38. Mary Black
    January 9, 2014

    Good on you guys stand for you right.

    • CUT-L-ASS
      January 9, 2014

      They are standing at the wrong place for their rights. They should be standing in front of the PM’s office. They look disoriented to me…haha they love their PM…

      • Reader
        January 9, 2014

        True say. Fellers there striking a pose. They not looking serious at all.

      • rosebud
        January 9, 2014

        The PM did not hire them. The people who hired them should pay them. Letang knows that. Remember, he did not say the Treasury did not have money to pay them. Get educated on what goes on in DA.

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