Voice notes warn of complete WASA shutdown tonight; PSA president distances himself

Date: 
Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 09:00

A series of voice notes are now circulating warning of a complete shutdown of all WASA plants at 9.30 tonight but PSA President Watson Duke says that is not a decision taken by the union.

The voice notes began circulating just after 10 am today on social media platform WhatsApp, saying talks have broken down.

Two of the voice notes, in particular, referred to health and safety issues impacting Process Plant Operators.

One of the voice notes said, "WASA will be shutting down all water treatment plants throughout the country as of 9.30 tonight so you all secure your tanks, make sure all your tanks full, all your buckets full, all  your kegs full, right...we making a stand as Process Plant Operators for our safety, for the health and safety we working under...right. So you could spread it to your friends and family."

The other voice mail referred to a meeting between WASA officials and the Public Service Association (PSA) this morning.

It stated: "Meeting has just over. Watson Duke the President of the PSA has made a decision on the PPO's behalf that WASA would be shut down until further notice due to health and safety reasons until the managers of WASA comply on our behalf,"

However, when CNC3 Digital contacted Duke around noon today, he described the claims as "madness".

He said the meeting was still in progress and that it was proceeding positively.

"That is madness. We're not on that negativity. We don't promote that sort of negativity. We're meeting right now and the meeting has been going very positive so far," he said.

Duke was the PSA representative at WASA before he became PSA President.

Today's meeting follows a marathon meeting on Wednesday which ended late yesterday evening.

He told the Trinidad Guardian's Rhondor Dowlat that because of months of neglect by the management of WASA, workers have not been provided with protective clothing.

He said that as a result of the neglect, "WASA has in fact shut itself down and we are willing to work with them to bring the plant back up".

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WASA is yet to respond to the latest development.

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