FORGET "Taste of Carnival" and put money directly into the pockets of those creatives who have been denied the ability to earn an income over the past two years – vaccinated and unvaccinated.
Ancel Roget, speaking in his capacity as president of the Joint Trade Union (JTUM) on Thursday at a virtual news conference, called on Government to forego Carnival.
“It is a sort of toxicant, kind of oxymoron, kind of dotishness on the part of Government on the one hand, to talk about vaccine mandate, that things are so bad, numbers are going up and therefore they need to force workers to accept jabs in the so-called foolish safe zones – that if they don’t, they will not be allowed to work.
Government is taking steps to implement a public-sector safe-zone policy in which public-sector workers that remain unvaccinated against covid19 without a valid medical reason could be furloughed and eventually dismissed.
The government has also promised $20 million to fund a "Taste of Carnival" at which only safe-zone events will be allowed. As a result, events will be restricted to participation by vaccinated performers and patrons only.
“On the other hand, you are going to host a 'Taste of Carnival.' Bitter taste of dotishness on the part of Dr Rowley, is more like it.”
Roget said the Prime Minister had to take responsibility for "all the dotishness that comes out of him and his Government"
Roget questioned the logic of safe zones for public servants but a "free-for-all" with Carnival.
“That really proves they are not making sense at all. What makes sense are those seasonal persons in the Carnival fraternity, who, because of the situation in the last two years could not earn a bread, could not earn a living.
“What would make sense, is instead of wasting money on goat and cow pens and those infrastructure at Queens Park Savannah and wherever else. Instead of putting money in contractor’s friends pockets, let the money go directly into the pockets and on to the tables of the families of those entertainers – people who really make Carnival – and stop this dotishness they are conducting.”
He suggested cutting out the middle man and giving monies directly to all of the mas makers, calypsonians, soca artistes, chutney/soca artistes, pan men and women, the wire benders, all involved in Carnival over the years so they can take care of their own situations.
JTUM has been an advocate for personal choice when it comes to taking the covid 19 vaccines and said artistes who have not accepted the jab should not be ostracised.
“We stand by those performers, artiste who are exercising their right to refuse to take the jab. Do not segregate or victimise them.
“They also should share in some sort of stipend, some sort of cash payment for all of the artistes who make Carnival possible for this country throughout the years.
“Let us focus on where the focus ought to be and make sure people do not suffer any more in this country.”