Monday, February 19, 2018

South Immigration resumes operations

AFTER two weeks of distributing only passports and forms, the Immigration Division office in San Fernando has once again resumed operations.

But that is only for the next 21 days, the Express was told yesterday. 

If all health and safety issues are not addressed, the office will be shut down again.

On Wednesday, the office began offering their usual services including passport processing. 

In June, the south office was closed due to industrial action taken by members of the Public Services Association (PSA).  The PSA complained Government was violating the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and they also called for better terms of employment.

After an injunction filed by Labour Minister Errol McLeod on July 3,  the office was reopened but only for two days before shutting down again. Since then it offered limited services leaving many inconvenienced, frustrated and confused.

Yesterday, the building’s electrical issues were being addressed.

The Express obtained a copy of a  report compiled by the OSH Authority after inspections were conducted. The date of inspection was July 9, 2014.

The report listed 33 violations.

The violations included a  dirty yard with improper storage of unused furniture and appliances, inadequate ventilation, broken doors, insufficient toilet facilities, power fluctuations and water damage.

The report also stated: “Adequate infrastructure was not provided for access for disabled persons. Fire extinguishers were past their service dates. Smoke detectors, an audible/visible alarm and other safety-critical equipment was not provided. 

Reportedly, adequate arrangements were not in place for health and safety of staff that transports illegal immigrants.