Former Housing Minister Dr. Roodal Moonilal is condemning what he termed the "arbitrary" dismissal of CEPEP contractors and almost 12,000 workers.
Dr Moonilal issued the following statement on the topic.
"I strongly condemn the planned move to arbitrarily dismiss contractors and almost 12,000 workers of The Cepep Company Limited.
The publicly-advertised plan would displace several contractors who have invested in equipment and are the employers of thousands of dedicated working class citizens.
This harsh and oppressive measure is taking place on the eve of the start of the school year, when parents are required to spend significant sums on their children’s future.
The dismissals of contractors and workers are further severe elements of the dismantling of key aspects of the operations of the State-run environmental company.
The People’s Partnership Administration had carefully developed, nurtured and expanded the remit of The Cepep Company Limited, to make it an all-embracing organisation involved in extensive and continuous environmental protection and improvement. The company’s sphere of activities extended to marine and non-traditional environmental functions.
Indeed, as the line Minister for Cepep, I was particularly pleased with the role and performance of the organisation, its contractors and dedicated employees.
A major reason why there were no widespread floods between 2010 and 2015 was Cepep's innovative mandate of small-scale environmental projects and flood alleviation policies. Regrettably, the current administration has abandoned this critical aspect of Cepep's mission.
I, therefore, predict more floods, property damage and terrible inconvenience to come across the land as a result of the mismanagement and lack of vision at Cepep.
The wanton firing of contractors would result in fewer clean-up activities and more blockage of water courses. leading to more suffering of residents across the country.
The Cepep marine clean-up exercises also removed tens of thousands of items of waste and pollution from the ocean.
The move to summarily sack contractors and workers paves the way for the installation of more friends, relatives and political associates of the PNM government, in a manner similar to what is taking place across the State sector.
This adds to the destabilisation that is already evident through the loss of jobs, increased taxes and reduction in funding of essential programmes, such as GATE, and other stringent and repressive measures.
I call on the government to reconsider its ill-advised plan for Cepep, and to safeguard and sustain contractors and the thousands of employees."
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