Public Services Association (PSA) industrial relations officer Ricardo Goolcharan is calling on the San Fernando City Corporation's acting CEO Jameel Ali for talks on claims of unsafe working conditions at the San Fernando City Hall.
Goolcharan visited the building at 9am on Monday to meet with Ali, but his request for a meeting was denied. No reason was given for the decision.
He told Newsday, “The life of one of the workers is in imminent threat or danger.
“On five occasions the worker came to work, and wanted to work, but they keep getting severe allergic reactions compromising their health…because of the mould, fungus and other debris in the building.
“The last time, the worker actually had a syncopal episode and actually went in the hospital.”
A syncopal episode occurs when a person experiences a sudden drop in blood pressure, which can lead to fainting.
Distressed, Goolcharan said the worker contacted him two weeks ago as a last resort. After a site visit, Goolcharan felt the complaints were valid and has been trying to speak with Ali to address them.
“I did see and record various things that were not right with the Occupational Health and Safety standards.
“This morning (Monday), I wanted to meet the CEO to discuss the medium, short and long-term goals of how we’ll deal with this. I was striving for open dialogue instead of confrontation, but he refused.”
As he is unable to meet with Ali, Goolcharan said he is exploring all available options.
Goolcharan said the worker has been advised to stay home from work given the severe health consequences they could suffer if they continue to have prolonged exposure to the current work environment.
By Monday afternoon, Goolcharan told Newsday Ali had sent a letter to the worker giving them the choice of three other locations where they could choose to work. Goolcharan said he will accompany the worker on site visits on Tuesday.
Newsday was unable to get a comment from Ali, the city corporation or mayor Junia Regrello on Goolcharan’s claims.