SSA takes back St John from Jose Y Jose
Anderson Fat Child Cherry, one of three private waste haulers contracted by the Government-run Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) to help collect the island’s garbage, has been pulled from his St John route.
Official sources told Barbados TODAY this afternoon Cherry, the chief executive officer of Jose Y Jose Liquid & Solid Waste Management Inc, had been struggling to fulfill his contractual obligations in the parish.
However, Cherry continues to service the St Philip route.
The sources said the SSA has had 20 trucks a day on the road since November, therefore it has taken over the route from Cherry, in what could be the beginning of the end of the scheme agreed last October to improve the island’s waste collection.
That arrangement, reached at a time when the pile up of garbage across the island was nearing the tipping point, and which was scheduled to run for six months in the first instance, seems certain to end in March, Barbados TODAY has been informed.
In the meantime, the SSA has successfully negotiated a revised deal with the haulers for a reduced fee and amended hours.
Two of the truckers have repotedly agreed to a fee of $300 per hour, exclusive of Value Added Tax, down from the $411 per hour agreed previously. They are currently required to work from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a one-hour grace period.
Cherry is said to have rejected the deal, but there was no indication that the decision to pull him from St John was linked to his rejection of the offer.
Even while suggesting he might have been too outspoken, the controversial Cherry refused to comment on the SSA move. However, he told Barbados TODAY he had been experiencing “challenges” with SSA General Manager Roslyn Knight, although he declined to give details.
“What I would say on the whole matter is that I don’t think that I am being and have been treated fairly; and I don’t think that the powers that be . . . Dr [Dennis] Lowe [Minister of the Environment and Drainage] or any person in authority is involved in what is happening.
“There are challenges, but all challenges would have to be explained by the manager at the Sanitation Service Authority. She would have to tell you what the challenges she has with me,” Cherry emphasized.
He added that he was confident there was no problem with the service he was offering, an assertion seemingly confirmed by Knight.
The general manager told Barbados TODAY she was unaware of any challenges with Cherry, and suggested the waste collection agency had no problem with his performance.
“I don’t know what challenges Mr Cherry is talking about, so I really can’t comment. I would figure Mr Cherry would come and address his challenges with us,” Knight said.
“Mr Cherry is still collecting refuse for us in St Philip. If he wasn’t performing, he wouldn’t have been . . . . As you know, we pay for a service and all we ask is value for our money . . . . If Mr Cherry was not giving value for our money in St Philip or if he was not performing in St Philip. . . I have not had any complaints in St Philip.” Knight stated.
When contacted, President of the National Union of Public Workers Akanni McDowall said the union was still in the dark regarding developments between the private waste haulers and the SSA.
McDowall said there was a need to meet with Government so the union could have a clear understanding of the relationship between the SSA and the private waste haulers.
“At the moment we don’t know what that relationship is and we need something in writing. The union wants to meet as soon as possible with the board or the minister to discuss that matter [of privatization,” the union president said, adding that a press release was due to be issued shortly by the union.