An eye sore
SSA strike impacts garbage collection on day two
The pictures paint a rather foul and messy story. Mountains of garbage littering streets and sidewalks from the south coast tourist belt to The City and its environs.
It’s the result of a strike by Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) workers, now in its second day, which has compounded an already irregular and unreliable garbage collection schedule.
The strike, called by the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), is in support of employees of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), who were forced into retirement, having reached the age of 60.
The two sides met for close to eight hours today in talks mediated by the Minister of Labour, Dr Esther Byer.
But while the talks were continuing, and the sanitation workers were idling, everything from a used mattress to overflowing receptacles contributed to the growing mountains of garbage plastering communities in and around Bridgetown.
In Eden Lodge, St Michael, residents, who were not shy to be quoted, took the piles of refuse in stride.
Rudolph Dorant, who has resided in the district for 30 years, told Barbados TODAY the visible heaps of waste were “not one week’s garbage but two to three weeks’ garbage everywhere you see”.
A “frustrated” Dorant said he sympathized with the union and sanitation workers, but he anticipated that the strike would make an already bad situation worse.
“[The] trucks aren’t coming, sometimes you get once a week, sometimes every two weeks,” he said.
Former sanitation worker Hughston Brathwaite threw his support behind his ex-colleagues, telling Barbados TODAY the employees had been disrespected for much too long. And far as he was concerned, the strike is justified.
“We have to let them know we are human beings too. They [the Government] treat the man [NUPW and SSA] bad, so the man gotta treat them bad,” said the 65-year-old Brathwaite.
In the end, the discussion returned to the subject of the garbage that littered the community, with Brathwaite imploring the authorities to act quickly to bring the dispute to an end in order to clear the mess.