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Fearmongering!

Abed dismisses fears of job cuts at SSA

The head of the island’s largest private sector organization is describing as “fearmongering”, concerns raised about the security of the jobs of workers at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) in the wake of the waste collection agency’s decision to outsource some of its garbage collection.

President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BBCI) Eddy Abed said there was no evidence to support claims that the SSA would be privatized and workers would be severed.

“Truthfully, I can’t see the empirical evidence. This to me is just fear mongering. I am extremely upset that that particular viewpoint is being expressed because I just can’t see the evidence for it,” the outspoken business leader said.

The SSA and private haulers agreed a plan last week under which the truckers will collect garbage in St Philip, St Peter, St Lucy and St John and be paid a fee of $411 per hour for eight hours a day, five days a week.

The programme got under way yesterday with the haulers reporting a smooth start, but with SSA workers and their labour representative, the National Union of Public Workers, expressing concern about workers rights and job security.

The SSA workers were also said to be unhappy with the arrangement and the collectors were refusing to work with the private haulers because of concerns over insurance and other terms of the agreement.

Stating that he was aware of “hints of privatization” and “hints out there that the workers at the SSA are under threat” in light of the new partnership, Abed said he saw the joint venture as a “win-win” and all parties should give it time to work.

“In as much as the SSA has a shortage of machinery and vehicles to do the job, the private sector absolutely has it and can do it, and it is a short-term thing – this is only for about six months [or] until the SSA gets the necessary equipment it requires to do the job satisfactorily. Perhaps I am missing something but I really see this as a win-win,” Abed stressed.

At the BCCI’s luncheon last week, businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams offered to take over the running of the SSA for $60 million.

Expanding on proposal the following day, Williams said he would first turn the SSA truck drivers into entrepreneurs, divide the island into zones and allocate zones to particular teams, and pay the workers by the tonne for the rubbish they collect.

Asked if he was in favour of placing the SSA in the hands of the private sector, Abed said while privatization was one option, his primary interest was in getting the “best value for the taxpayer”.

“So that is really the way the Chamber looks at it. We want best value for the taxpayers’ money. Maybe it is a combination of both, maybe it is going to be leasing vehicles to the SSA from the private sector and they do the job, I am not sure, but we have a calamity on our hands.

“I remain very open-minded and I am not going to say the Chamber is pushing for any one agenda. The truth is, we want value. That is what we are pushing for and we want consistency,” Abed stressed.

7 Responses to Fearmongering!

  1. Tony Webster October 12, 2016 at 4:42 am

    The Fourth “R”: Rationality”! Ahhhhh…the sweet smell of garbage….and rationality!

    Reply
  2. jus me October 12, 2016 at 6:15 am

    YES PRIVATIZE.
    GIVE A TRUCK AND ROUTE TO EXISTING CREWS.
    PAY THEM WHAT IS INTENDED TO BE PAID TO PRIVATE HAULIERS.
    YOU WILL SEE ALL THE GARBAGE OF BARBADOS WILL GET COLLECTED PROPERLY AND I FULLY EXPECT IT WILL BE DONE WITH THE 10 TRUCKS AVAILABLE.
    BECAUSE ONCE THESE CREWS ARE MOTIVATED THEY WILL DO THE JOB AND DO IT AS IT SHOULD BE DONE.
    WHEN THEY CAN PULL IN BIG MONEY, THESE WORKERS WILL 100% MAKE SURE TRUCKS ARE ALWAYS WORKING.

    WHATS WRONG WITH ALLOWING SOME OF THE GRAVY TO GET TO THE WORKERS ,INSTEAD OF INCOMPETENTS OF GOVERNMENT

    Reply
  3. Tony Webster October 12, 2016 at 6:47 am

    @Jus me…and you: “Give a truck”???… You mekkin mock-sport? Yes, Everyone should have a shot at available work….if they own a truck ( yes, banks and credit unions will take on any reasonable proposition) like the BL&P crews do, using their own trucks. Freeness…is at the very core of our socio-economic malaise. Free-lunches, folks, are a historical foot-note….unless you are living in D.P.R.K.

    PS: each and every “Big Business” on God’s Green Earth…started small. Can’t you guys understand something as simple, fundamental, and inescapable as this?

    Reply
  4. Phil October 12, 2016 at 9:47 am

    This is a clever move by Government. By privatizing the Sanitization Service, forget the Authority. They don’t have to pay Management salaries, NIS employers contribution, no operational costs which include vehicles cost, Insurance, fuel which fluctuates, protective wear, uniforms, damages, full maintenance which include parts, professional repairs costs, daily washing damages, Union fees. I saw this coming over three to four years ago I sent it to Brass Tacks but I’m no regular caller so Mary and her group there just ignored my comment. They can go back and check. The next thing they need to do is contract out the ground Transport system and delete all the related expenses and time. no more subsidizing nand note the efficiency after that.

    Reply
  5. Phil October 12, 2016 at 9:47 am

    and note the efficiency after that.

    Reply
  6. Watchman October 12, 2016 at 11:01 am

    “Williams said he would first turn the SSA truck drivers into entrepreneurs, divide the island into zones and allocate zones to particular teams, and pay the workers by the tonne for the rubbish they collect”

    Entrepreneurs ? More like subcontractors.
    Divide into zones … so garbage men warring cause A went on B street and collect.
    Pay dem by the tonne … so garbage trucks on commission like minibus and ZR men, wunna think de roads ignorant now ? Imagine a 10 wheel garbage truck jam busting or passing you on de inside !!!!
    LOL , LOL sweet !!!

    Reply
  7. jrsmith October 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Just get on with privatizing everything at least we stand a better chance of survival, and have some one to blame ….hoping we get the people who could be better managers …

    Reply

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