Over eighty daily-paid workers of the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development under the Tobago House Assembly (THA) gathered outside the health building at Habib Building, Highmoor Road, on Tuesday morning, to protest after waiting over six weeks for outstanding wages.
Kenneth Thomas, negotiator to the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) said after several meetings with the division officials, including the administrator Karen Ottley, he cannot accept the reason for the delay.
“What they are asking us to do is to postpone our hunger,” Thomas said. “We have postponed our hunger for three fortnights and now we are going to tell the powers that be that enough is enough, and we cannot postpone our hunger any longer. This is more than just our hunger, since most of the workers have loans, rent and children to see to, but for some reason, the administrator don’t see the value in the things we do. Today in Tobago, a statement will be made once and for all that we not taking that.”
He said: “Not only are we demanding our pay today, we are also demanding that the division pay whatever fees that might have built up.”
On December 19, workers of the division, led by Public Service Association president, Watson Duke, protested at their new office, calling on the Secretary of the Division of Health, Agatha Carrington, to address their complaints of uncomfortable and inhumane conditions in the building.
They complained of clustered spaces, incomplete construction and dusty floors and glass.