MOVEMENT for Social Justice (MSJ) leader David Abdulah is describing as “heartless” the manner in which several CEPEP workers in Laventille were put on the breadline.
At a media conference held at the party’s Royal Road, San Fernando headquarters yesterday, Abdulah said CEPEP chairman Ashton Ford said the contractor who hired the workers was terminated because he was not making National Insurance and health surcharge payments.
The contractor, Abdulah said, owed $780,802 to the National Insurance Board and $140,529 in health surcharge.
"What we want to highlight is the heartlessness of this government and of the CEPEP company, because rather that ensuring that workers' job are secured, despite the contractor's faults, the workers are now without jobs.”
CEPEP, he said, should have moved swiftly to absorb and re-employ the workers who are “victims” at this time. He blamed the CEPEP company for not having proper oversight over the operations of its contractors.
"To run up a bill of this amount means this was happening for a long time.”
He also addressed the issue of crime saying the number of people murdered for the year, so far, is 280.
"People are dying in this country as a result of murder.”
He said government had gone on the defensive during Friday's sitting of the House of Representatives when the vote of no confidence in National Security Minister Edmund Dillon was being debated.
And regarding the passenger ferry Galleons Passage, Abdulah said the ferry was supposed to arrive in April with government now claiming that it would arrive by mid-July.
"All kinds of pappy-show reasons and excuses are being given by Finance Minister Colm Imbert and Works Minister Rohan Sinanan."
He said Imbert is saying the ferry is expected to leave Cuba immediately and come to TT while claiming there was a problem with respect to the embargo which affects Cuba.
"This is false a statement by Imbert where he is claiming that Cuba makes it difficult for countries to trade with them." He said it is the US embargo that is the issue and the US penalises third-world countries from trading with Cuba.
"If a ship goes to Cuba, then it cannot go to the US for a period of six months."
He said the PNM has shown its heartlessness to the people of Tobago whose livelihood depend on effective seabridge operations, both passenger and cargo.