In light of the Prime Minister’s recent appointment of a Cabinet Sub-committee to submit recommendations and a framework for the restructuring of WASA by November 30th 2020, the Prime Minister must tell the population if the critical state company will suffer the same fate as Petrotrin with any possible degree of Privatization, possible job losses as well as future downscaling of key functions of the entity.
Our citizens must never forget, when the shutdown of our national patrimony of Petrotrin occurred, the narrative began with the similar modus operandi of the appointment of a committee to restructure, the discussion of the company’s debt burden, laments of overstaffing and calls for efficiency, all of which are being said about WASA by the government at this time.
This question becomes quite necessary given the Rowley led PNM’s track record of national betrayal in the past when they blatantly lied to our population by saying “the government is not closing down Petrotrin” yet two years later, the once-vibrant energy pulse and national revenue generator, our refinery, sits idle without any clear direction for re-commissioning or resumption of its pertinent services.
Therefore, on behalf of the thousands of workers who are employed at WASA, we must ask if these workers will face the same fate of those of Petrotrin who were initially told that only excess staff was being sent home then “all, all, all” lost their jobs, leaving thousands displaced and facing dire consequences up until this very day.
The Government needs to be honest, open and transparent with the affairs of WASA, especially at a time when all of our citizens, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds have been affected by this Pandemic. WASA belongs to the people of this country and as a result, any action which must be taken must be done with full Parliamentary scrutiny, unlike the selfish, secretive and heartless manner in which Petrotrin was dealt with.
Opposition Chief Whip
Member of Parliament for Pointe a Pierre