UPDATE: PM sets up committee to assist truckers demanding employment

Following a meeting held with local truckers earlier today, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced the establishment of  a committee to propose rates which are “fair and reasonable” for the services offered by those in the industry.

The committee will also be tasked with conducting an audit of available trucks and capacity in Dominica.

Earlier this week, members of the Tipper Truckers Association of Dominica (TTAD), as well as other local truckers lined up their vehicles for a six-hours under the Canefield cliff, to “peacefully raise awareness” of what they say is the non-inclusion of local truckers in the construction of major projects on the island. There was no attempt to impede traffic.

Calling on the government to intervene, President of the TTAD Anton Laville, expressed the association’s disappointment over what he labelled as a “collapsed” industry and said local truckers are doing everything to have this issue resolved amicably.

While announcing that he had met with a number of local truckers this morning- Nov. 18- at the Goodwill Parish Hall, Skerrit stated that he assured the truckers that his government was sympathetic to their plight and gave his commitment to addressing their concerns in an “expeditious” manner.

To address their concerns in a “prudent and systematic way,” the head of government disclosed his recommendation for the establishment of the proposed rate committee as he says that the government is committed to securing “fair and livable rate” for the services offered.

“I believe we need the services of a professional body of analysts to inform our discussions. We need to determine what is a fair and reasonable rate for trucking in Dominica. Given all the factors that you so aptly articulated two days ago, I know that there’s the cost of trucks, the cost of petrol, the cost of insurance, the wear and tear on your vehicles, and the cost of labour, and the list goes on,” Skerrit stated. “I wish to propose that we agree to a formula whereby we not only sit with contractors and request a rate, but that we secure the services of a professional group of analysts to determine and influence the rate that is reasonable, and which you should all request.”

According to the Prime Minister, when such rate is determined, the government will seek to use its influence to get contracting firms to honour and factor it into their calculations.

“I do not believe anyone is seeking to rip off points or exploit anyone. I believe the availability of irrefutable evidence and information would shed new light on this situation. If x rate is determined as the minimum livable rate for truckers in Dominica, then x rate is what the government shall propose to contracting firms as the baseline for trucking services going forward,” he said.

To address their concerns sectorally as opposed to individually, Skerrit also suggested that a working committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Public Works and comprising representatives of the truckers association, the local contractors association or grouping, representatives of two of the larger foreign owned contracting firms on Dominica and an internationally recognized and respected agency, be established. He said his government would bear the cost of retaining their services of the members of that committee.

“I would want for this committee to commence deliberations as early as Monday the 22nd of November 2021 and to have a report containing firm recommendations presented to me as chairman of the cabinet by December 15 of this year. In this way, It is my hope that before Christmas, the government can and would be in a position to announce a new formula for determining the rate of pay of truckers in Dominica and we can also discuss whether we would like those rates to be legislated,” he further added.

The Prime Minister has also requested that the committee conduct an audit of available vehicles and capacity in Dominica to guide his government’s granting of permission to contracting firms to import vehicles or labour into the country.

“In other words, that which can be sourced in Dominica at nationally agreed upon rates and terms must, come January 1, be embraced and exhausted before permission is granted for the short term importation of comparable vehicles into our country,” he declared. “And if such vehicles are deemed necessary for importation, then they would have to be exported on completion of a particular project, or offered for sale at market rates to Dominican owned companies and Dominican citizens.”

In an attempt to return “viability and profitability” to the trucking sector in Dominica, Skerrit has also requested that the truckers as an association, submit to him, a proposal for consideration for a special regime of concessions to help improve on their fleet and the quality of their vehicles to offer something similar to what was done for those in the tourism sector.

Other government officials in attendance included Minister for Public Works and the Digital Economy, Cassanni Laville; Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Rayburn Blackmoore; Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiative, Denise Charles and Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Public Works, Mr. Emile Lancelot.

Participants at the meeting

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39 Comments

  1. Jonathan Y St Jean
    November 23, 2021

    @Outside Looking in, “We compete in the world not our little island”, what does that mean in the context of projects going on in Dominica? Dominca has it’s own economy, it’s own tax structure and rates, it’s own prices for goods and services. Are you suggesting that there is a fixed rate for work being done across the globe and if our rates are higher then we can’t attract capital development projects in our own country? Utter rubbish? I just don’t see your logic. Each country makes it’s own rules regards contracts and attracting foreign workers. There isn’t any universally accepted parameters for getting that done. In the USA there is “States rights” which allows each state to make it’s own decisions. Prices are different in each of the different states because of the different laws. Wheel and come again because you don’t make sense on this one.

  2. Viewsexpressed
    November 20, 2021

    We need change, urgently to get rid of this Failed Fake inmature OUTDATED Pappyshow Labour “PRIME ODD MINISTER” under this so called “FAILED Incompetent IMMATURE VISIONLESS Outdated SKERRIT.
    Our Country comes first and we are tired and concerned about this devious SKERRIT’s (?) And his so called on going “BOBOLISTIC” Ridiculous “RED CLINIC”. This on-going Nonsensical political Labour Pappyshow Fanfare just to gain votes and fame and abuse states Funds through this Red Clinic just to gain Fame and loyalty. Then, that our begging suffering people, families etc will receive this devious Red “BOBOLISTIC CLINIC CASH” “Given Out’ Openly that’ designed to buy this loyalty of “Skerrit’s Fame” and Loyalty to shout out regularly,”We Love our PM WI.!?. What hypocritcal Silly BS Nonsensical Ridiculous Childish Despicable Thoughts from this Immature Visionless, ODD PRIME MINISTER. Be ADVISED Skerrit’s NOT PRIME MINISTER Material nor should he be Leader of the government. We had…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  3. TomE
    November 20, 2021

    Same old BS. That should have been resolved years ago. No excuse for that. The DLP has been in office for over 20 years and still unable to resolve a simple issue. What a shame.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  4. Outside Looking in
    November 20, 2021

    Just a question. Why would a foreign building contractor bring equipment and workers to Dominica? Surely the cost of freight to get there equipment on island, the cost of feeding and housing a worker is high. Makes no sence unless there is a bigger issue,

    One would think it would be cheaper to use the on island trucks. So the logical conclusion must be that local truckers do not have correct reliable equipment to do the job or local truckers are not reliable or local truckers charge to much money.

    We do not live in a vacuum, building contractors do what makes most economic sence to there project, if this means import equipment and services from outside Dominica at great cost, then the conclusion is those services are not competitively available in Dominica. We compete in the world not our little island, the free market sets prices, when a government does so you get a distorted economy that is un competative and riddled with corruption and delays. Hence Dominica of today

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
    • Toto
      November 22, 2021

      Too simple my friend. Have you ever considered kickbacks or bobol as we call it? Easier to do with foreign contractors with overseas bank accounts. You are too glib and a wise guy in my opinion, either that or you are simply ignorant of the ways of the world in our little island.

    • Frank N Stein
      November 23, 2021

      Maybe you should actually find out what equipment our truckers have before you go shooting your mouth on them? Even if you believe they are not equipped how about financial assistance in terms of loans to help them build their business? What part of serving your country men first dont you understand.

  5. Jonathan Y St Jean
    November 20, 2021

    What are the views of the DAIC on this matter? They advocate for their members I know, but they can’t only be concerned about their members. The whole economy of Dominca is intertwined and as such bodies like the DAIC must have the backs of the local truckers. See if government would allow a license for a Walmart in Dominca how they would squeal
    like little piglets to get that to stop. They would even reach out to the general public in their efforts to stop it. The DAIC gas a moral responsibility to advocate on behalf of local truckers.
    The churches are another set of crooks here. They rely on the public to patronize them and put money in collections, but without jobs how can the people do that. All this empty talk by church leaders is nothing more than turkeys gubblling. This has been going on for a long time now. Leadership now is take the money from the cabal and hush your mouth.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
    • Footballer
      November 23, 2021

      They haven’t got a view. Their preferred strategy is hiding in the bushes and very occasionally sitting on the fence. NO BALLS!

  6. Ibo France
    November 19, 2021

    In these negotiations, Skerrit promises the aggrieved party much then delivers ghosts. Instead of performing corrective surgery he puts a bandaid on the broken limb.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  7. Vanguard
    November 19, 2021

    The Truckers are at a distinct disadvantage and they shouldn’t be. The foreign contractors competed with local Contractors when bidding for the Contract. The local Contractors would have used the local existing rates in proposing the estimated cost of undertaking the works. Imported vehicles by the Foreign Contractors should have been subjected to the same import duty that is paid by locals otherwise the locals would be at a distinct disadvantage with substantial overheads throwing them out of the competition. This is the only country that favours foreigners over its people, SAD STORY!!! Someone should be held accountable for the loss of revenue to the Treasury.

  8. Ibo France
    November 19, 2021

    This is a very major problem in Dominica. The economy is on the brink of total collapse. The small businesses which are the engine of economic growth have mostly disappeared. The residents depend on jobs offered by the government for their daily sustenance. When the private sector in contracting and people have to rely on the pubic sector for work, this is untenable. There will never be enough jobs.

    The government needs to reconfigure the economy. The sale of passports and the trickle of tourist arrivals to Dominica cannot sustain a vibrant livelihood. Diversification of the economy is imperative. (Light manufacturing, agro-processing, agriculture ( farming, fishing, animal husbandry, horticulture, aquaculture, electronics, technology) etc.

    This Skerrit-DLP autocracy gives priority to stealing elections over improving economic production. Bus drivers, truckers, in fact, most of the working population, pain would be your constant companion for the foreseeable future.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  9. Election SCAM
    November 19, 2021

    Once election is around the corner, whether general or by-election expect two things:
    1. Quick responses to the public’s problem to temporarily shift their gaze from the mess DLP has put them in after 21 years to feed them false hope.

    2. Ensure that front doors and back doors are opened for bribed and illegal voters to return to keep them in power.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  10. LifeandDeath
    November 19, 2021

    Reactive Planning is what we have in DA for the last 20 odd years. So a problem remains and festers till boiling point and here comes the proverbial sanitation Head Minister to douse the issues with smell sweet promises. Calm the situation till next time around.
    See you all again next time when the excrement threatens to rise over the top of the bowl. In the meanwhile “Happy Deficay-SHON”, I’m off to Dubai.
    If Dominicans doh learn in 20 years, idk when.

  11. Policy
    November 19, 2021

    As stated by some of the other commenters, the gov’t needs to institute a policy of requiring a percentage of local workers, vendors, truckers, suppliers and other providers be given opportunities to participate in any and every gov’t project and contract that is awarded to any foreign entity. The vast majority of developed countries have this policy, so why can’t Dominica? It is our money paying for these projects, and our citizens should always have an opportunity to benefit financially. In addition to benefitting financially, our people would have the opportunity to learn new skills, or augment their current skill level to a higher standard.

  12. Dumpling
    November 19, 2021

    Dr skerrit, alas,let elected Dominicans run DA,let me remind you we are a democracy 🙄,the people run things and you need to step back and let people do their work and you do yours.sick and tired of talking skerrit loves money,power,fame,free housing on tax payers backs,his own army,sorry our police force,he loves yes men,he loves telling grown people what to do,,he loves playing with our money,he loves people cowering to him,he loves using our money to bring in unpatriotic puppets to vote for him,I could go on and on but I’ll cut it short and say skerrit is a parasite happily eating and destroying everything our ancestors struggled and died for,a classic narcissist, Grandbay is now our only hope to humble this man and make him realize he is not Dominica,we are Dominica

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  13. The Old Prophet
    November 19, 2021

    Truckers demanding employment according to DNO and in response PM Skerrit forms a committee to propose rates that are better and Fear (fair) and to do an audit of Trucks available on island and capacity lol. Boy we really have jokes in Dominica you know.

    Our problem reminds me of a man in the Bible that was possessed with a special demon and his disciples tried to cast it out the normal way but they couldn’t. So they went to Jesus and asked why couldn’t we cast it out? Jesus responded:
    [But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]” Jn.17:21.
    People that Demon we created in Dominica cannot go out the normal way by praying it out, fasting it out, negotiating out, demanding it out or by voting it out. We need something different! Well I don’t even know how to get it out,. Here is a passage I liked to hear Peter R Augustine preach from when he was a preacher Matt:11:12 “ but the violent ones take it by force. They don’t wait, or beg but they take it by force

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2
  14. Same old same old
    November 19, 2021

    Same old same old. Skerrit creates a problem and then comes back with a patch to make it look as if he cares. It’s like a mad man talking a pickax and dog a hole on the road then comes back and put dirt on it.It’s the same old lies told on a different day

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 4
    • %
      November 19, 2021

      Then after he, Skerrit, creates the problem and then comes back to solve it, he expects you to praise him. This man is so EVIL and WICKED!!

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    • Ibo France
      November 19, 2021

      Spot on! He ( the illegal occupant presently at the head of government) pretends to correct the wrongs he creates then wants hero worship from the public.

      Every country has its problems but Dominica more than all in the Eastern Caribbean strictly because of systemic corruption and a vacuum of leadership in government.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  15. dissident
    November 19, 2021

    I read that ” If one man is enslaved then all men are not free”.
    Why does a prime minister have to lead discussions? Why does Skerrit always surround himself with square pegs?
    Is the minister incompetent?
    What about the permanent secretary?
    Skerrit already refuse to meet dem truckers as an official recognized organization representing truckers.
    Stay out of de discussion and allow public servants to do their work. Furthermore, couldn’t this have been accommodated within the public procurement act?….just asking.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1
    • Ibo France
      November 19, 2021

      Relevant question that! Skerrit has a potbelly cabinet, in fact, it’s the largest cabinet, per capita, in the western hemisphere and most probably in the world.

      Despite this, the FASCIST (Skerrit) presides over every negotiation between the government and the public. The other seventeen cabinet members are relegated to mere statues and ornaments solely for the decoration of public offices. These seventeen get a hefty month salary plus perks and allowances for loitering on the government clock. No wonder one male cabinet minister was caught feasting on the forbidden fruit during working hours.

  16. Ibo France
    November 19, 2021

    This incompetent, dishonest, habitual, dense liar creates the problems then wants to hog the credit for solving them. Check this out.

    Mr. Skerrit and the DLP are in government for the last twenty one (21) years. They have neglected Grand Bay for the entire duration of this period. Now Skerrit and Vince are campaigning in Grand Bay as though the DLP was in opposition for all this time. Figuratively, they have committed the murder and now crying at the victim’s funeral.

    This purported agreement with local truckers is just another exercise in futility like many others. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    Dominicans and truckers, the time for talk is over. The time for collective action is NOW. The POWER lies with you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 2
    • viewsexpressed
      November 20, 2021

      Ibi France, my advise to you is Keep up the concern of the failed behaviour and Leadership of this on-going Nonsensical COMICALISTIC, visionless Incompetent Irrelevant LABOUR GOVERNMENT under this Failed Incompetent on going PRIME (ODD) MINISTER, we believe in and has said m as my times that SKERRIT is NOT equipped, nor visionary to be our NATIONS PRIME MINISTER. Skerrit and this OUTDATED Labour Party Government are NOT Government material. They should never have been Members of Parliament and our Government. Skerrit and his failed Labour Party Team are not Government material to our leaders of our people and our Country.That OUTDATED Pappyshow Political LABOUR PARTY are NOT sufficiently Matured/Committed to ourPeoples’ Government, moreso unable sufficiently nor visionary to be in our Parliament. This Failed Incompetent “DLP” Leadership TEAM MUST “GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR GOV’T. We need good Leadership for our Government/Country. We desperately need Mature Dedicated PEOPLE guide…

  17. %
    November 19, 2021

    Purely DELAY TACTICS. Those truckers are JOKERS, COWARDS, they should reject the setting up of that said committe, walk out of this ‘DARN’ meeting and protest ON OUR STREETS. This LIAR Skerrit, i have said time and time again is a buffoon, he cannot think, he is VERY WICKED and he hates Dominicans? Come on truckers, you know what to do, PLEASE DO IT. All of you all…!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 4
  18. One Man
    November 19, 2021

    The prime Minister is Roosevelt Skerrit
    The Finace Minister is Roosevelt Skerrit
    The public works minister is Roosevelt Skerrit
    The president of the truckers Association is Roosevelt Skerrit
    The committee set in place by Skerrit is Roosevelt Skerrit
    So forget about all the fancy words and positions you read about . Roosevelt Skerrit destroys every damn thing on island and likes to jump in to with a fake and corrupt solution

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 3
    • Ibo France
      November 21, 2021

      Roosevelt Skerrit is omnipresent in Dominica. Although he has started the fires all the country, he wants to take credit for attempting to extinguish them.

      The man is a Jack of all trades and Master of none. He lacks the mental acuity to bring long lasting solutions to the innumerable problems he has created. The man is simply an economic and political arsonist.

  19. Da Girl
    November 19, 2021

    This is something that should have always been in place but better late than never. I commend the truckers for the manner in which they staged their protest and I commend the government for responding so quickly and for respecting the truckers enough to grant them an audience of such a magnitude in such a short space of time. I just hope that the promises made are kept and the truckers can see an end to their plight. I have often seen the hashtag #promisesmadepromiseskept associated with different DLP parlreps . Please maintain it. Best wishes to all concerned.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 33
    • Zandoli
      November 19, 2021

      How can you give credit to the government for acting quickly when in fact all they are doing is putting out fires. It should never have come to that. If there is work available, that work should have been set aside for Dominican citizens. Only if the expertise or manpower is not available on island, should a foreigner get that work.
      You don’t deserve praise for doing your job only after you have been pressured into doing it. It does not work that way.

    • %
      November 19, 2021

      @Da Sooteewer Girl
      Go to Grandbay and you will se promises made and promises kept. Those cri….., feed on the backs of the poor like vultures and hungry hyenas…The buffoonic liar in chief creates all manner of problems, then like an evil hobgoblin, he comes in a deceitful way trying to solve the fetid mess he himselg has created. It’s time for all concerned Dominicans to resist this one man satan like leadership.

    • Toto
      November 19, 2021

      And you still believe in Father Christmas DA Girl. Grow up, Skerrit is never going to change. He is incapable of change. It simply not in his DNA. He is a narcissist. Very unfortunate for us.

  20. Pradas
    November 19, 2021

    This PM is just untrue. He fools Dominicans on a daily basis. May I ask the PM what this proposed committee is supposed to do. OMG that man just hasn’t got a clue, but Dominicans still love their PM…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1
  21. Zandoli
    November 19, 2021

    I am really puzzled by the way this government operates. It appears to me that they do not act until a situation reaches a crisis level.
    Why does it require protests and demonstrations before they listen and act upon citizens complaints? They keep lurching from crisis to crisis.
    I cannot imaging being so reactive 8n the private sector. You would be out of business if your don’t stay ahead of these crises.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1
  22. L C Matthew
    November 19, 2021

    “representatives of two of the larger foreign-owned contracting firms on Dominica and an internationally recognized and respected agency,” Why do these folks have to be involved. What does foreign company have to do with setting price for Dominica truckers. If the truckers pay licence all they have to do is call traffic department and get a total of registered trucks. These folks are fooling themselves to trying to find a solution from the cause of thier problems. All this commitee set up is a farce. All the government has to do is mandate any project funded by gov needs 80% local drivers and case close or ensure that all registered truckers are utilized before bringing in anyone period.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1
  23. Toto
    November 19, 2021

    Roosevelt my boy, these truckers need work not an another committee. Delaying tactics and stalling. Not very clever. Jacques keeps dictating to you and playing you like putty.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2
    • Viewsexpressed
      November 20, 2021

      We need change, urgently to get rid of this Failed Fake inmature OUTDATED Pappyshow Labour “PRIME ODD MINISTER” under this so called “FAILED Incompetent IMMATURE VISIONLESS Outdated SKERRIT.
      Our Country comes first and we are tired and concerned about this devious SKERRIT’s (?) And his so called on going “BOBOLISTIC” Ridiculous “RED CLINIC”. This on-going Nonsensical political Labour Pappyshow Fanfare just to gain votes and fame and abuse states Funds through this Red Clinic just to gain Fame and loyalty. Then, that our begging suffering people, families etc will receive this devious Red “BOBOLISTIC CLINIC CASH” “Given Out’ Openly that’ designed to buy this loyalty of “Skerrit’s Fame” and Loyalty to shout out regularly,”We Love our PM WI.!?. What hypocritcal Silly BS Nonsensical Ridiculous Childish Despicable Thoughts from this Immature Visionless, ODD PRIME MINISTER. Be ADVISED Skerrit’s NOT PRIME MINISTER Material nor should he be Leader of the government. We had…

  24. Jonathan Y St Jean
    November 19, 2021

    There is no need to have a committee to deal with this issue. It should be a policy of a caring government that work in the country which can be performed by locals and which don’t need special equipment and training, that locals should have first bite of the apple. This committee business sounds like an opportunity for more nepotism and victimization. Granted that in certain circumstances when grant aid is given there may be some tweaks to the policy for semi skilled activities. In any case there should be room for technology transfer to allow capable locals to get on the job training from imported workers. It feels like the foreigners are running Dominca and the captain won’t pilot the ship for the benefit of the citizens but appears to favor imported workers. There’s a traitor on board, examine the horns. Why did it take so long and a protestation to get government attention. The politicians, don’t they have their ears to the ground to hear what’s going on? Shame.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1
  25. Bwa-Banday
    November 19, 2021

    Let me tell you all something; Hate Skerro but you must agree he is one of the best conmen even to walk the streets of Dca. I still believe he has surpassed the late real Chi-chi in his art of deceit. When it comes to creating an issue and then magically appearing to address it, he single handedly takes the cake globally.

    Having said that, the truckers have lost so much I doubt any effort to listen now will be able to fairly compensate them for all their loss. They are like sheep being lead to the slaughter but good luck to them. Just maybe Dr. Handbag need to put some pressha on their behalf because it appears like the fake PM is literally scared sheet of him 8) .

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2
  26. Ibo France
    November 18, 2021

    The present economy is seriously infirm. It is critically ill. However, while Roosevelt Skerrit and his disciples box food out of the local truckers’ mouths, the foreign truckers are overburdened with work.

    What the local trackers should demand is a clear policy from the administration to empower them and refuse any attempt to offer piece meal gratification.

    The truckers will exit this pep talk, run to the media, and shower tons of undeserved praise on the con-atrist pm, stating how satisfied they are.

    Dominicans have never failed to amuse and amaze me. They deserve the Nobel Prize for self deprecation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

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