PNM candidate visits quarry, workers warned of 'threat'

PNM candidate Kelvon Morris  -
PNM candidate Kelvon Morris -

PNM candidate for the Darrel Spring/Whim electoral district Kelvon Morris has been criticised after visiting the Studley Park quarry earlier this week to caution workers about an alleged threat to their livelihood after the December 6 Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections.

Morris's visit was videotaped by someone and posted to social media.

In his speech to the workers, during working hours, Morris advised them to “make a decision in their best interest.”

He claimed he had information that “if things don’t go the way some of us would hoped on the sixth (of December), that the owners of this company have already been threatened and told there would be nothing for them come post-December 6, which also means in some way, the nothing for them would also affect you...”

Without saying which party the workers should vote for, Morris told them to consider how their vote would benefit them.

“You must ask yourself, 'Would my life be better off making decision X or Y?' or, 'Would my life be worse off making decision X or Y?.'

"I'm not here to tell you that decision X is the one you have to make – that’s your choice.”

When asked if anyone had questions, the workers were more concerned about representation in their districts than Morris's claim the company might suffer if the election result went a certain way.

In the video, one worker asked Morris why it was only around the election time their representatives were present. Another asked why long-standing issues were addressed only during election time.

The worker told Morris he had been struggling with poor access roads in his area since former chief secretary Orville London was in office.

“Right now they fixing people's dog pen and, in my road, we not seeing anybody. If they doing something good all the time, when the time comes to vote, no one would have to come to say to vote for me.

"They only show up for election. Don’t try to mamaguy people."

Morris replied there was always room for improvement with regard to representation.

When Newsday visited the quarry on Wednesday, the majority of workers declined to comment. But one said he had no issues with the visit and was shocked it had gathered so much attention.

When contacted, Morris referred Newsday to a release on his Facebook page where the visit was described as “canvassing beyond the streets.”

The release said Morris met with workers at private organisations in Scarborough and Mt St George to “discuss matters relevant to the upcoming elections.”

It added that Morris simply “used this opportunity to encourage workers of the importance of exercising their constitutional right to vote and they should vote in what they believe to be their best interest.”

It said at no time during these discussions did Morris indicate a party of preference.

The release did not address the alleged threat to the quarry's current operation.

Morris's visit was criticised heavily on social media and on the ground.

One man near the quarry, who wished to stay anonymous, said, "For a politician to come on a government compound and ask working men to put down their tools to show them their job is in danger if they don’t vote for the PNM isn’t right.”

The organisation’s board could not be reached for  comment up to press time.

Calls to the Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries, and the Environment Kwesi Des Vignes were not answered.

Newsday trieed to contact the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) for a comment but was also unsuccessful.


"PNM candidate visits quarry, workers warned of ‘threat’"

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