Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, President, CLEMENT PAYNE MOVEMENT
So, the Democratic Labour Party— the political party that solemnly promised the Barbadian people that a vote for them in the 2013 General Elections was a vote for the preservation of all Public Sector jobs and a vote against privatization of State entities— has now made a decisive move to begin the process of privatising the critical garbage collection services performed by the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA)! This is a shameful act of political betrayal, that is all the more offensive in that it was carried out in secrecy, without the Barbadian people, the SSA workers, or the trade unions being consulted in any way !
To make matters worse, we have learnt from the information divulged in the front page article published in the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday 11th October 2016 that this new private sector based garbage collection arrangement is going to constitute a massive and unjustified drain on our nation’s public finances.
The Newspaper article revealed that the private business-men will be paid $411 per hour per truck, and that each truck will be in operation for 8 hours per day and 5 days per week! Thus, each truck will cost the taxpayers of Barbados $16,440 per week or $854,880 per year !
This YEARLY payment of $854,880 PER TRUCK needs to be juxtaposed against the cost of Government actually purchasing one such refuse collection truck outright— the cost of approximately $250,000 !
Why should this Democratic Labour Party administration be saddling us— the citizens and taxpayers of Barbados– with payments to private business-men of $854,880 PER TRUCK PER YEAR or Eight and a half Million dollars for EACH TRUCK over a 10 year period, when they could have purchased the said truck for the SSA at a mere one time cost of some $250,000 ?
There is also the issue of the tremendous disparity between the wages that will be paid to the working class Barbadian men and women who will serve as garbage collectors on these private trucks and the fees that the SSA will be paying to the private business-men.
According to the Newspaper article the workers will be paid a mere $500 per WEEK, presumably for a 40 hour work week, while the business-men will be paid $411 per HOUR for a similar 40 hour work week ! Thus, the worker will work for 40 hours– carrying out the most physically taxing, dangerous and distasteful duties– to earn just slightly more than what the business-man will earn in one (1) HOUR for the use of his truck !
Truly this is a scandal of massive proportions and should lead to strident and decisive Calls for the removal of the present DLP Administration from office!