Thursday, January 18, 2018

T&T Chamber ‘concerned’

Shutdown of Govt offices

 The targeted shutdown of Government offices being conducted by the Public Services Association has caused disruption and inconvenience to business operations and society, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce has said.  

“While gaining some comfort in the re-opening of the offices of the Immigration Division, albeit with reduced opening hours, (the chamber) views with concern the ongoing interruption to the provision of other essential Government services. We call for an immediate resolution to this problem,” the country’s biggest business group said in a statement. 

“Like all organisations, the employer is responsible for completing a risk assessment to ensure that its work place environment complies with the OSH Act. Where there are deficiencies, the employer should correct these in a proactive manner. We are of the view that employees must be assured safe working environments as provided under the OSH Act.” 

The chamber said it acknowledged an announcement by Minister of Finance Larry Howai that just over $1 billion was approved to be spent in completion of the Government Campus buildings as a long-term measure. 

“We also note that OSH issues identified at the Immigration and Board of Inland Revenue buildings are being tackled in the short term. While laudable, the chamber believes that there must be a more proactive approach to management of our Public-Service facilities. A well-functioning and efficient Public Service supports the development of society and ensures social and economic balance, while providing life’s certainties to citizens.”

The chamber added: “We all stand to lose when a shutdown of this magnitude occurs. The chamber has always espoused that alternative channels be taken to resolve matters before resorting to disruptive measur­es.

“The country should not, at any time, be held to ransom.”