Duke: Touch workers’ salaries and we will call early election


Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) leader Watson Duke has said if the government decides to make cuts to the public sector, the PDP will seek an early election.

Duke was speaking at a press conference on Monday at the Public Services Association (PSA) headquarters on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.

Duke referred to suggestions made by economist and former deputy governor of the Central Bank Dr Terrence Farrell who said to shoulder the financial burden on the economy, the government must increase utility rates and make cuts in the public service.

Duke warned Finance Minister Colm Imbert and the Prime Minister not to touch the jobs and salaries of public servants.

“I want to tell Imbert and Rowley…we are not afraid. We are prepared for battle…The day these red devils in Parliament decide to touch the public service, we will seek to have an early election within three months of that call.”

Duke also called on public servants to stay at home on March 2 in protest, ahead of the possibility of job cuts.

“I am calling on public servants even now: next week Tuesday, March 2, you have an official day off. That is to gear for battle. Call it a covid day off.”

He said while it is not his place to tell the government how to run the country, it should not interfere with workers’ salaries.

“We do not confuse ourselves with advising the government. What I think is irrelevant. There must be another way you can make money without cutting people’s salaries.”

He said if oil and gas are no longer producing the revenue they once did, then the business community can compensate.

“Tough times create tough men. We must ask ourselves, what kind of people have these tough times created in the business sector? What type of government officials are they making?

“We have no advice for them except: do not touch workers of this country’s salaries. Touch them and we will go back to the polls.”


"Duke: Touch workers’ salaries and we will call early election"

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