Grass cutters lament late payment

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A number of men employed with the government’s beautification project say they have fallen on hard times and find it difficult to meet their financial obligations, due to the inability of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to pay them in a timely manner.
According to the workers — who are hired to cut the grass along community roads and the sides of the highways — they are barely able to pay rent, school fees, and provide the basic necessities.
“I got through good with my bills last year, I was even able to be up to date with my child support payment, but this year just start and while the bills are piling up, I can’t get my money to take care of my obligations,” one worker who requested anonymity said.
The man said that the statutory corporation is five weeks behind in wages.
Yesterday, the truck drivers and grass cutters threatened to cease working if the government continues to pay them late.
They took their grievances to the NSWMA with the hope that they would receive their long-awaited wages.
However, when the group showed up the men said they were paid just a portion of the amount owed, and no date was given for when they would receive the balance.
They also complained that although their pay reflects deductions to the Medical Benefits Scheme and other statutory corporations, they are alleging that they are denied benefits when they turn up for health care.
The problem of inconsistent payment schedules has plagued the workers for years and in recent times, many have refused to speak to the media citing fear they would lose their jobs.
The NSWMA is chaired by James Tanny Rose.
When contacted, Rose offered a snide remark that alleged it was OBSERVER media’s fault that the government is unable to pay the NSWMA workers.

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