HOUSING Development Corporation (HDC) residents have been put on notice that work in their communities can be affected if the corporation does not settle outstanding salary negotiations.
President General of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) James Lambert gave the warning on Wednesday. during a protest outside HDC’s South Quay office.
“Obviously. They are the workers who maintain the various buildings throughout Trinidad and Tobago and if they are not treating the workers in accordance to the collective agreement, it would affect the clients they have in the various houses.
“There are taps to be fixed, doors to be fixed. There is maintenance to be done and until such time, the workers would be working in accordance to rules.”
More than 60 workers bearing placards protested outside HDC, Port of Spain, office calling on management to settle their negotiations.
Some of the placards stated, “2012 salary but paying 2019 bills. George, stop playing games. We want justice right now.”
Speaking to the media during the protest, Lambert said workers are not given proper tools to perform their duties.
He said more than 1,000 workers are living on 2013 salary while cost of living continues to escalate.
“There are no tools and there are teams that have two and three people working. There are no materials and nothing is being done to address the situation.
“Over six years workers have not had an increase in wages. That year was our last increase which made us start a small demonstration outside here today. The management of HDC is very disrespectful as it relates to the plight of the workers,” Lambert said.
Lambert said since Newman George was made chairman of HDC, to date, he has not met with the union to address the matter.
He said all calls to Brent Lyons, HDCâs managing director, goes unanswered.
“We are hoping to get some type of resolution pertaining to what is happening. We intend to escalate the demonstration on a daily basis,” he said.
Lambert said several letters have been sent to the Ministry of Labour and to date there has been no response.
“That type of action says immediately the amount of disrespect HDC has for the workers and the union.
“We will start with a small amount today and as the time goes by we will do it until we get some sort of resolutions. What is left for the union to do is to take them to the court.”
Lambert said workers cannot continue to operate in a system where the managing director and the chairman of the board of HDC cares nothing about the workers.
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