Retrenched Transport Board workers demand pay
Former Transport Board workers who have been waiting five months for their severance are now being told they will get some of the money by next Friday.
But they insist that after holding on for so long to get what is due to them, they want all their money.
About two dozen former employees of the statutory board turned up at the Weymouth, St Michael headquarters to demand the money they were promised since they were sent home in March.
As the workers voiced their anger in the presence of the media and police officers who were called to the compound, the Transport Board’s General Manager Sandra Forde called an impromptu press conference at which she read a brief statement acknowledging their plight and promising pay in part.
“We at the Transport Board understand and appreciate the situation being experienced by our recently retrenched workers in these trying economic times. As such, we have sought to put in place a system where we can assist them at this time. These dialogues had commenced before but were discussed in earnest with our minister last Wednesday and will be continuing until this situation is completely resolved,” she said.
“We are not in possession of the total funds, but to show good faith we shall be paying some of the funds to all of the affected persons commencing August 29.”
Forde said the Human Resources Department would be contacting each of the employees individually indicating when the funds would be available for collection and asked the former workers to “be patient” as the Board works to resolve this “sensitive situation.”
But when Forde related that promise to the workers after the brief press conference, it did not go down well with some of the workers.
“I want the full payment of my severance,” insisted Lisa Marshall who had been employed at the Transport Board for 19 years.
“I know one displayed worker whose light and water have been turned off and she is on the brink of suicide. I have a mortgage to pay and other debts with financial institutions and I want my full payment. If I do not get my money on Friday, I will be back on Monday!” she declared.
Other workers told stories of struggling to make ends meet.
“This is the first time in my life that my three children have said they are hungry and I do not have anything to give them,” said former general worker Sophia Nicholls.
“Do you know what it is a child telling you ‘Mummy, I am hungry and you do not have anything to give it. I do not think these people care about we. It is not right.”
The mother of three boys, who was employed at the Transport Board for nine years said, she had no idea where she would get the money to outfit her children for school next month.
Although in receipt of a letter indicating that she would have received her severance pay in April this year, 39-year-old Lora Greenidge who spent five years at the Transport Board said she was still waiting.
After eight years on the job, Nigel Marshall said, he was facing financial problems because he could not get what was owed to him.
“I just got a call from the bank warning me that they were going to send a debt collector to collect money owed to it. I want my money because I have people to pay!”