The recent actions of Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke can only be considered as selfish, “backward thinking” and, to some extent, illegal. Contrary to the decision of the Industrial Court, Mr Duke “called out and/or instructed staff employed at the Immigration Department at Frederick Street, Port of Spain and San Fernando to sign in and leave their jobs without working and by telling them that the office is shut down until whenever”.
The shutdown of the passport offices has caused tremendous distress and inconvenience for the public, particularly at a time when vacation travel requires the Immigration Department to function at an optimum level. While there may be a legitimate concern regarding the state of the infrastructure, the services these offices provide are vital and the actions taken by Mr Duke virtually hold the country to ransom.
Apart from literally shutting down the offices’ operations, his actions are in contempt and abetting the breach of the court order. It should never simply be about the needs of a few, but always about the needs of the many.
There are alternative solutions to upgrading facilities without “shutting down”. Mr Duke, while your intentions are seemingly in favour of the public servants, how about providing some recommendations toward a mutually beneficial solution instead of your usual “shutdown” approach.