Quarrymen feel ‘victimized’, Gov’t undertakes to pay

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The shop steward at the Burma Quarry, Michael Peters, has alleged that the protest action taken by the workers on Wednesday has resulted in them being victimized.
He said since they publicly complained about unpaid overtime – and vowed that they will no longer work beyond their 7am to 3pm regulation hours – they have been threatened with pay cuts.
Peters explained the issue to an OBSERVER reporter thus: “No materials were left so we had nothing to do at the moment.”
This, according to Peters, resulted in the workers being called lazy and accused of not performing on the job.
As a consequence, they have been told that they will face pay cuts. “If we didn’t stand up for our overtime money, none of this would have happened,” Peters said.
The Burma quarrymen on Wednesday engaged in a go-slow and work-to-rule to press for overtime pay owed to them by refusing to work beyond their designated regular workday.
They are reportedly owed overtime pay for over a year.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Works said in a press release on Thursday that it had begun issuing overtime payments to the quarry workers as of yesterday.
According to the Ministry, “The delay in payments on Wednesday was as a result of bureaucratic delays, but all workers including truck drivers have received payments.
“The Ministry of Works has been working closely with the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury Department to bring these overtime payments up to date,” the press release added.
It further thanked the workers for a job well done on the various plants and the Permanent Secretary, Clarence Pilgrim, commended those who took steps to ensure overtime payments were met on behalf of the ministry.
According to Pilgrim, the payments will be made in stages.
In still another development pertaining to the Burma Quarry overtime dispute, the Ministry of Works dispatched yet another email later in the day (6:10pm) to correct what it said was some erroneous information contained in its earlier press release.
The email, from communications officer Alciana Tittle, stated: “The release sent out earlier had indicated that ALL workers including truck drivers received their overtime payments.
“However, we have been notified that around 11 workers did not receive their payments.
“The Ministry is working to ensure that remaining workers will be paid.”

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