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Public Works employees demonstrate for unpaid wages

first_img Tweet Share LocalNews Public Works employees demonstrate for unpaid wages by: – November 18, 2011 Mr Thomas Letang (in the middle) demonstrating with members of his union. See photo gallery below)The employees of Public Works Corporation have staged another demonstration for delayed salary payments and salary deduction among other reasons.This morning, staff members along with union representatives were seen outside the Public Works Corporation’s office on Goodwill Road with placards demonstrating their concerns.General Secretary of the Public Service Union, Thomas Letang told reporters that they believe they have done everything humanly possible yet salary payment and deductions are delayed causing embarrassing and stressful situations for his union members.“We continue to experience the situation where people are working and not being paid fortnights upon fortnights they are not being paid and month end comes and month end goes and people do not get their salaries. We have done everything that we could do to really sick an amicable solution to these problems but it appears to us that some people are just not concerned as to what is happening at the Public Works Corporation; how employees are being seriously affected, you can look at some of the placards and they tell a story that they are not being paid and they cannot provide for themselves, they cannot provide for their families, a lot of uncertainty surrounds their jobs, we see projects going on and the corporation they are not getting work,” he said.A major concern for the employees of the corporation is that they believe they are being sidelined while other contractors are awarded contracts for ongoing road works and this places them at a disadvantage.According to Letang by staging this protest the employees are sending a clear message to the authority that enough is enough.“What you are seeing here this morning is just to send a clear message that we are fed up, that we want to work, that the employees have their commitments to the bank and at the end of the day some of them cannot meet those commitments, they have additional interest to pay, some of them are being threatened by legal action by some of the institutions and some of them they walk into the banks and institutions and cannot get a loan because nobody knows when their deductions are going to be made. Some of them they have insurance policies and you have to understand what that means; if you’re not paying your premium it means that your insurance can be cancelled, you get sick and believe that you are covered and you are not covered so therefore the problems are many and we believe that this morning we are just beginning, I repeat, we are beginning to send a message.”Here are a few photographs of this morning’s protest: [nggallery id=89]Letang also reported that he is “very happy that the members have decided to stand up, that they are fully behind the union and they are ready and the union is behind them 110%”.Meantime a female employee of the corporation says that protest should not be seen as a political one but as a protest over money issues and that they sacrificed their salaries for the implementation of an Asphalt Plant which has not brought any revenue to the corporation.“I love the prime minister, I put him there but I need my money. It is not a political issue it is a money issue for the public works workers and we are not getting work to do so we need work we need money. The monthly workers have not yet been paid for October and the fortnight workers haven’t drawn a fortnight. We sacrifice our salary to make asphalt for the Chinese to do the road and the Chinese refuse our asphalt that is our problem. I wouldn’t say that we are being betrayed by the government but we need our money; we have children to send to school, we have our bills to pay like everybody so we need our money,” she said.She further explained that there have been instances where the government has assisted vendors during the off-season while employees who have worked are unpaid.“When the tourist boats don’t come for two months the prime minister is paying the people, we work we’re not getting paid – we need our money. When the hurricane passed and it destroyed the vendors thing in the market, the prime minister giving them money we work – we want our money.”Another employee explained that the corporation is not receiving enough projects to make it a viable entity and that the government has left them in the cold.“We’re not getting paid on time and not getting viable projects so that Public Works can be a viable entity. Public Works is struggling right now because a lot of projects going on all around the country but where is Public Works? Public Works is a government institution. They have left us in the cold to fend for ourselves and yet we are government, that is not right and we are saying that we need to be treated better than that and we need viable projects so that we can be a viable entity,” he said.The union representative did not indicate what their strategy is moving forward, but he did indicate that they have exhausted all means to get the matter resolved and are at a point where they believe that they have had enough unfair treatment.Dominica Vibes News Sharing is caring!center_img 12 Views   no discussions Share Sharelast_img read more

Mother to serve 98 years for killing children

first_img…she failed to love, protect, comfort them – State ProsecutorBy Shemuel FanfairTwenty-five-year-old Hofoswana Awena Rutherford, who was recently found guilty of killing her two children by poisoning them with carbon tablets, was on Monday sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh to 98 years’ imprisonment on two counts of manslaughter.Hofoswana Awena Rutherford, who was convicted for poisoning her two children being escorted by Prison officers on Monday (Carl Croker photo)On the first count, killing of four-year-old Hodascia Codogan, Rutherford was sentenced to 45 years’ jail; while on the second count, killing of one-year-old Jabari Codogan, she was ordered to serve 53 years’ jail time.Rutherford had crashed to the floor when the 12-member jury unanimously found her guilty on both counts on March 15, 2018. The jury believed the State’s evidence that the mother had given each of her children half of a tablet of aluminium phosphide (rat poison) on March 27, 2014 at Supply Branch Road, Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara. Aluminium phosphide tablets (rat poison).During Monday’s sentencing, a probation report was admitted into evidence but was not read in court. Drawing from this document, Rutherford’s attorney, Adrian Thompson, in his plea of mitigation before a packed courtroom of relatives and several other onlookers, detailed that his client had a “hard life”.Thompson stressed that Rutherford dropped out of school at 16, her mother died when she was young, and that she knew her father only later in life. The defence lawyer, pleading for the judge to temper justice with mercy, pointed out that his client was not in the best of mental health. However, Thompson admitted that he had no doctor’s report to attest to his client’s mental state.In contrast to his calls, State Prosecutor Abigail Gibbs stressed that Rutherford knew exactly what she was doing. In her address to the court, she told Justice Singh that a hard life and economic struggles can never justify taking the life of another, especially those of one’s own children.“She was the one who needed to protect them, comfort them, and show them love. However, she failed them,” the Prosecutor pointedly stated.On those grounds, Gibbs called for the maximum penalty to be leveraged for the killings of Jabari and Hodacia Codogan. This prompted light gasps from some persons in the gallery, but the court marshall swiftly turned and ordered silence.Rutherford, who stared at Justice Singh directly, begged him for mercy before later losing her composure with streams of tears. Unlike the dramatic events when she hit her head by falling last month, she stood tall in her cries.“No one in this world loves my children more than I do. I love them to my soul. I am sorry for my shortcomings and my faults,” she told the court.She then turned to her family members in court and expressed hope that they would be able to overcome the pain of losing Jabari and Hodacia Codogan.“Justice Singh, even God in Heaven above is merciful, and I am asking you to grant me a second chance so I can make things right,” Rutherford lamented.Justice Singh seemed perplexed as to why the State had indicted the mother on manslaughter, contending that “everything points to murder”. On the first count, he started the sentence at a base of 30 years, added 10 years for the victim being a child, five years for the victim being her child, five years for her using a poisonous substance, and another 10 years for premeditation.He, however, deducted eight years for what was listed in the probation report, and another seven years for Rutherford’s show of remorse. This computation resulted in a sentence of 45 years. Using similar facts, he calculated 53 years for count two, ordering that the sentences must be served consecutively.This means that the court’s cumulative sentence is 98 years. However, the Prison Service was ordered to deduct the time Rutherford had spent awaiting trial.During her trial at the Demerara High Court, Rutherford’s initial story was that she had bought cold tablets from a man at the Plaisance Park, who sells rat poison. However, the logic behind this story was not accepted by the jury.Rutherford had been hospitalised for seven days after the poisoning of her offsprings, and she had said she had drunk two tablets after giving same to them.Prosecutor Shawnette Austin also appeared for the State.last_img read more