Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Christine Newallo-Hosein is seeking the intervention of the Trade Union Movement to assist the 200 contract workers attached to the TT/Food Card Division of the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services who have been served with retrenchment notices which will be effective from July 31, 2017.
Confirmation of this latest round of retrenchment on the working class by the Rowley-led Administration is contained in a letter sent to all affected employees, which was signed by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary.
Newallo-Hosein made the appeal to the Trade Union movement since the employees affected are contract workers who, more than likely, are not unionised.
In the termination letter, employees were told that their “Performance Appraisals must be submitted by July 28th, 2017 to facilitate the preparation of Contract Gratuity.”
Further, the termination letter instructed workers to return all electronic devices, including cell phones, laptops, mobile devices, etc. by July 31st, 2017.
Newallo-Hosein, the former Minister of the People and Social Development in the People’s Partnership Government, says she is extremely concerned and perplexed as to why the Permanent Secretary is facilitating contract gratuity based on performance appraisals.
She wants Minister of Social Development and Family Services Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn to say when was this practice introduced; who will conduct these appraisals and whether or not these appraisals will be biased to justify the firings. In other words, is this an attempt to give a poor appraisal to justify the firings.
The Cumuto/Manzanilla MP also said she has been informed that all employees of the TCCTP, including the Director of the Programme and those attached to all the regional offices will be terminated on July 31, 2017.
This begs the question, who and which division will be held responsible for the continuity, efficacy and management of the current food card recipients?
As a former Minister of the People and Social Development, Newallo-Hosein called on Minister Crichlow-Cockburn to tell the country of the real and true reasons for the retrenchment of these 200 contract workers.
With this massive reduction in the Ministry’s Human Resources, the Minister must now say exactly what is the real state of the TT/Food Card Programme and further whether it is this PNM Government’s intention to completely shut down the programme.
Further, Minister Crichlow-Cockburn must tell the country which division in the Ministry will now be responsible for the processing of TT/Food Cards for the Differently Abled, the elderly, fire and flood victims, as recently witnessed following the passage of Tropical Storm Bret, the infirm, single parent headed households, the poor, the vulnerable and the indigent.
The termination of these 200 contract workers will only further add to the long list of persons thrown on the breadline since the PNM Administration came into office in 2015.
It also means that 200 persons are now financially and economically burdened, frustrated, traumatised, part of an economic system that continues to viciously fail all our citizens under the Rowley-led Administration.