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Friday 18 October 2019
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Reforestation workers want $$ owed

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat.
Photo: Angelo Marcelle
Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat. Photo: Angelo Marcelle

Workers from the reforestation programme under the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries have called on the head of the department to pay their outstanding salaries.

Newsday understands workers have not been paid for the past seven fortnights.

Speaking with Newsday today, a worker who did not want to be identified said normally the ministry will pay late, but this this year has been the worst.

The worker said it is very frustrating because they have bills to pay and school supplies to buy for their children.

“I don’t know how to turn again or who to call on to see that we get our money. We have bills to pay, books to buy, rent to pay. Are they not worried how we are even eating on a daily basis? What they want workers to do again? Look how long we have not gotten paid. It is overbearing now."

When contacted, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat said he was aware of the situation and last week the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Planning highlighted that workers were not being paid by some of the contractors, including workers from Tobago.

Rambharat said since the reports, the Ministry of Finance had done an audit and last Friday it gave clearance to pay workers.

He said the pay of those who had not been paid was being processed.

"There were some queries on Thursday and after I spoke to the Conservator of Forests, they answered the queries, and some of the cheques went to the bank today (Friday) and the remaining cheques will go on Monday.”

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