City workers down tools over delayed payments
While the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) remains under police investigation, some of its workers yesterday downed tools and gathered at City Hall as they voiced concerns of yet another month of delayed payments.
As acting Town Clerk Carol Sooba was making her way to office yesterday morning, she was confronted by several of the disgruntled workers, and she informed them that cheques were being prepared so that
they could be paid by the end of the day. However, the demonstrators remained unmoved.This newspaper understands that workers from the health clinics, day care centres, mechanical workshop and cleansing department were all on strike yesterday.Sooba, whose appointment as acting Town Clerk was met by much controversy, advised the employees to return to their work stations. “We will not move until we receive we cheques,” the workers shouted in unison. Sooba’s reaction at this point was “don’t get me mad, y’all know I trying. I sent messages that y’all will get pay today, so wait!”Making her way up the staircase, she turned back to respond to one employee who asserted that “the council over doing de do”. “Y’all know I am not a stuck-up Town Clerk. Don’t push it. We signing cheques today.” This is the second consecutive month that workers have downed tools in protest of late payments.Last month, Sooba explained that payments were delayed as no “proper” handing over was done by the officials sent on leave. However, this month, this newspaper understands, her claims are that the process has been delayed due to an exercise to eliminate dummy employees from the payroll. Chairman of the Implementation Committee, Keith Burrowes, had disclosed that the system is to issue identification cards to each employee for it to be presented upon receipt of pay cheques.Reports are that the Guyana Labour Union (GLU) and the Guyana Local Government Officers Union (GLGOU) decided to call out workers.The unions say that the situation was over bearing and could not be tolerated especially at a time when school is about to reopen. (Abena Rockcliffe) .