Workers in the National Reforestation Programme have not been paid their salaries for the last five fortnights.
Representatives from five groups within the programme yesterday gathered in front of the Ministry of Agriculture, St Clair to protest.
One contractor, Akilah Jaramogi from the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation project told Newsday she was not responsible for paying salaries yet many of the workers came to her begging because they had bills to pay and children to send to school and she felt it was time they took action.
“We tried to avoid protesting but you can’t stay hungry. I am not responsible for the salaries but people were coming to me and other contractors,” she said. “If you are owing people, you have to pay them.”
Jaramogi said the last time workers protested was three years ago and it occurred around the same time.
“They really should put systems in place,” she said.
During their protest, Jaramogi said Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat met with them and gave them the assurance he would look into the matter.
When Newsday spoke with Rambharat he explained that at the end of the financial year, they have to get additional funds to settle some of the wages and expenses. He said he will take a proposal before Cabinet on Thursday.
“After Thursday, I would know exactly how to go about settling the outstanding wages,” he said.