THE EDITOR: I have been reflecting on the devastating effects that the continued covid19 restrictions are having on SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and other associated operators and the plight of the thousands of people employed by them.
My concern is that no one is speaking out for them and they are being considered as collateral damage, while corporate (big business) Trinidad continues with work-from-home protocols and their workers continue to be employed. The same cannot be said for the thousands of mall, entertainment and associated workers who make up the vast majority of the working class.
Recent videos circulating on social media showing the closed outlets at two of the country’s leading malls should be of concern to all as the workers there and others in other similar sectors are a very important component in keeping our economy alive, though on life support.
Share a thought for those that are not in the enviable position of making a reduced profit but are actually making a loss. And those that have financial commitments and are being offered a moratorium on payments while interest continues to mount, albeit at a lesser rate. Should the banks not be by directed by the Central Bank that interest charges should cease while under theses restrictions?
While all these employees are being negatively affected, all public sector workers and politicians are receiving their full salaries. Who incidentally are paid by the very same people affected.
Moreover, the already insolvent National Insurance Scheme has lost thousands of contributions. Can the powers that be give any assurance that these unfortunate workers will eventually receive their entitled benefits?
If in 28 days the rate of the virus spread continues, are the restrictions going to be extended for a further 28 days, hoping for the virus to disappear?
We cannot as a country afford this. We need to get back to work and the children back to school. We have to live with this virus. Hiding from it is not a solution. Set protocols and police them.