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City workers strike for pay; admin promises cash today

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 November 2017, 10:21 by Denis Chabrol

About 100 striking workers Thursday morning picketed City Hall to demand paynent of salaries, but a senior official said all of the workers would be paid later in the day.

Georgetown Mayor and City Council spokeswoman, Debra Lewis assured that the municipality’s operations were not crippled.

“We are not in a crisis,” she told Demerara Waves Online News. She said as a precaution the municipal day care centres were closed. Drainage facilities and the city’s markets, she said, were all working.

When Demerara Waves Online News visited City Hall, the Treasurer’s Department was busy collecting rates and taxes.

City Councillors earlier this week approved a 100 percent amnesty on interest owed on rates and taxes in the hope they can rake in mych needed cash to pay workers.

She said 78 percent of the workers, including many on the picket-line, have been already paid and the remaining estimated 200 would be paid Thursday afternoon.

However, the workers on the picket line appeared less than convinced. They abandoned their workplaces and waved placards and chanted slogans on Regent Street outside City Hall.

Slogans included “We fed up of the sane thing over and over”, a clear reference to repeated late payment of salaries.

“No money, no work,” “We want money now” were some of the constant chants in addition to other sentiments on placards such as “Pay NIS,GRA and credit union dues now,” “Pay our credit union, we need loans”, “We need our retro pay now 2015-2017,” and “Respect your human resource assets. They are important”.

The City Hall spokeswoman said the strike appeared to be in keeping with a threat by the union if workers were not paid by Wednesday.

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November 2017