PM claims unawareness of quarrymen’s plea for meeting

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All hopes of the Burma Quarry workers meeting with Prime Minister Gaston Browne yesterday were dashed when Browne told OBSERVER media that he was not aware of any request by the workers to meet with him.

“Well, no, I am not aware of that but I have no objections to meeting with anyone. If it is they are on the agenda and there is a meeting scheduled I will meet with them,” Browne said. “Even if there isn’t one scheduled, I would meet with them.”

On Friday, workers at the Burma Quarry decided their concerns regarding overtime pay needed to be heard at the highest level. They told OBSERVER media they were requesting to meet with the Prime Minister on Monday, yesterday.

While making a passionate plea for the workers to receive long overdue overtime pay, shop steward Michal Peters said the Prime Minister might be the only one to understand their plight, and through the media he appealed to Browne.

However, that meeting did not take place as the Prime Minister claimed no such request had been brought to his attention.

As far as paying the workers is concerned, Browne said: “Where they need to apply the pressure is with the public servants who are preparing the vouchers…. get them to Treasury and we’ll pay.”

Meantime, the Burma Quarry workers levelled new accusations against the Ministry of Works, saying their financial incentives were withheld last Friday in what they think is a reprisal for going public with their grievances.

The Ministry of Works later shot down those claims, saying the payments arrived late at the treasury.

Communications Officer in the ministry, Alciana Tittle, said the workers have since been informed that they will get both last week’s and this week’s incentives this coming Friday.

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