Protest causes traffic chaos again

Trinidad and Tobago- Police officers were outfoxed again as a small group of former OAS Construtora caused traffic chaos on the South Trunk Road after blockading the bridges at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine to protest a salary issue.

Officers at the Oropouche Police Station intervened to remove the debris but it took hours for commuters to travel the route from the south western peninsular into San Fernando.

The former workers are protesting the non-payment of salaries and other benefits owed to them by the now bankrupt Brazilian contracting firm OAS Construtora which was entrusted during the former Peoples Partnership administration with the construction of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin.

Over 1,000 contracted workers and sub-contractors have lost their benefits when the company terminated their services in March.

The former workers intend to take their protest action to Port of Spain outside the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) office with the hope of having a meeting with officials.

Spokesperson Alastai Ramharack is calling on the government to intervene.

He said: “we had a meeting and we were advised that we talk with NIDCO and Government officials on these matters. One of the things that came out of that meeting was that the former (Peoples Partnership) government did not overpay OAS for the contract. Now we do not know what will happen with this Government”.

Ramharack said that once the Government decides to complete the highway project, former workers should be given first preference for work.

“We not asking for much, but I think if the Government is continuing with the highway, they should re-hire us workers. We would be the better choice. The Government needs to understand that it is the workers who are suffering right now”, said Ramharack.

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