THERE is a deliberate attempt to marginalise certain people in Tobago, says People’s National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council labour relations officer Kenneth Thomas.
Speaking during an interview on Tobago Updates on Thursday, he said PNM people are Tobago people too.
“Whether you’re IDA, you’re PNM, you’re PDP – whoever you are in the Tobago space...whatever is happening in Tobago...everybody in Tobago must have a fair chance of achieving, of aspiring.”
He said a shifting away from that type of approach is being seen, and it is important for it to be stopped. Saying the island is "just out of" the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections, he said one would have to contextualise what is happening now within what was happening and the narratives and conversations in the campaign period.
“What we heard then, very callously, people who were identified to be PNM, or those who have the red flag or perceived to be wearing the red flags, there would be no justice, there would be no ease for them in the Tobago space. When you see what is happening now, then you must conclude, you must really conclude that it is making true the threats made then.”
He said there are certain positions when a government changes that must go. But, he said, “We talking about people at the clerical level, we’re talking about people not even administrative level but at that middle-management level that is been targeted. It is not like because they’re inefficient, they are being targeted solely because of a perception that – and may not even be that they’re supportive of the PNM but anti- or not supportive of the current regime. That is not something that we should encourage at all.”
He said a lot of people have been coming to him, as a practioner of industrial labour relations, and he has been examining letters of termination which he described as “very incriminating.”
Addressing the issue recently, THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said several units in the assembly required some restructuring to make them efficient.
But, he said, “No one was sent home because they are of another political party or political affiliation.”
He said to date, three units in the assembly have been dismantled: the Division of Infrastructure – Monitoring and Evaluation Unit; the Office of the Chief Secretary – Community Partnership Unit; and the Division of Community Development – CEPEP programme.