Despite being allocated over $520 million over the last two years, the complete mismanagement of expenditure by PNM Minister Amery Browne now puts the health and lives of the employees at the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs at severe risk declared MP Davendranath Tancoo.
The MP for Oropouche West was commenting on the reports by staff that despite being aware of the serious mold problem at the three buildings under the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, the Minister refuses to consider spending to undertake critical remedial works.
“Workers are being forced to work under unsafe conditions which are against the OSH Act but are afraid to take industrial action for fear of victimization by this PNM government.” stated MP Tancoo.
According to Tancoo. “Workers are suffering from an array of health issues, ranging from respiratory and other problems. In addition to having to use all their sick days and in some cases, casual days to seek medical attention, they also have to bear the costs of medicines and doctors’ fees to treat with the ailments caused by this contamination. They complain that this is a substantial loss. There is also concern that this may have long-lasting effects on their health. Workers have become severely demoralized as a result.”
The MP noted that “this government does not care about these things as their mismatched priorities lie elsewhere. Employees told me how disgruntled they were that the Minister could not find the money to treat with a work environment crisis but could spend scarce foreign exchange to buy doubles to entice UN representatives to vote. The employees insist that it is not that the Ministry does not have the funds to treat with the health crisis. They believe the Minister simply is more interested in public relations gimmicks rather than the lives of public servants.
The abuse of accountability and skewed priorities by this and other PNM Ministers in the expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars must be condemned, especially in a situation where workers’ lives are literally being put at risk!”