By ROXANNE STAPLETON-WHYMS and SEAN DOUGLAS
Friday, October 5 2007
EVEN AS hundreds of Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) workers formed long lines for the second consecutive day outside FCB in San Juan yesterday, Local Government Minister Rennie Dumas publicly apologised to the approximately 15,000 URP workers who will not be paid today because of a glitch in the processing of the workers’ debit card.
As was the case on Wednesday, the frustrated URP workers stood outside the bank waiting to register for the debit card which Government introduced to make payment easier and to eliminate the need for cashing of cheques at the old Treasury Building in Port-of-Spain.
“We are quite concerned about the delay. Our apology must be tendered to these people, but we also want to point out that the bank has now assured that the arrangements made, these dates will be kept, and the benefits to the participants in the URP who will be using that debit card system remain,” Dumas remarked at yesterday’s Post Cabinet press conference at Whitehall.
The registration process will see a URP worker assigned an account at FCB and a debit card. The Ministry announced on Wednesday that “pay-day for Fortnight Number One” which was scheduled for today, had been deferred to next week Friday, October 12.
Approximately 15,000 workers in Fortnight Number One are affected. Yesterday, several angry URP workers said the Ministry should have made up the cheques to facilitate the old method of payment until the new method came on stream. A number of URP workers and foremen called in to radio stations to voice their displeasure at the delay and to remind Government that hundreds of URP workers were supporters of the PNM.
“They were supposed to pay us the day before they (the PNM) have their big candidate launch in Woodford Square. But now we are broke. What are we supposed to do?” a URP worker asked.
“This means that my family will have to squeeze by to eat for this week, because I don’t have money to feed my five children and right now I am the breadwinner in this family,” another lamented.
Others called in to the radio programme saying regardless of the pay problem, they were prepared to “band our bellies” for the coming week and still support the PNM at tomorrow’s rally.
Niggas like it fockin so. Niggas like easy wok or no wok at all, that is why they have this inclination towards URP and CEPEP. Just suckin money from the treasury.
But you cant blame them. This is how the PNM has cultured them over the last 50 years and as such they are now heavily dependent on the PNM for this handout.
The problem is look at how they are treated like dogs and slaves just to collect the money. This is an ongoing saga. If you see them yesterday outside FCB in San Juan and sometimes down St. Vincent Street like cattle waiting to be slaughtered.
They like it so and that is what they want for dey children. So fock that. Go kiss Patrick Manning ass in Balisier House.