The Minister of Works and Housing the Hon Eustace Lake says he remains puzzled by the action taken by quarry workers who held a press conference on Monday calling out the official for not efficiently addressing ongoing issues.
On Monday, workers from the Burma and Bendals Quarry said they were frustrated over the continuous lack of equipment which has caused a drop in productivity at the sites.
They also called out the minister for purchasing aggregates from the Masonary Products while disregarding those produced at the quarries and noted that relevant officials had been notified of the lack of explosives needed in order to continue production.
In a press release issued by the Ministry on Wednesday, the minister said he remains concerned over the incident and has hinted at other issues which could have led to the ‘prompt’ action.
He also called out the union for condoning the actions observed by the workers without consulting him.
“I don’t understand why the Union supports this kind of behavior. Mr. Potter knows that him and i can talk, we might not always agree but at some point we have to reach an agreement to address the situation.”
Minister Lake in an interview told ZDK news that as recent as last week, workers met with the Director of Works Dr. Lucine Hanley yet no direct complaint was made. He said that he is disappointed, particularly because workers were informed of the purchase of new equipment.
He noted that despite the workers calling for parts to be purchased to refurbish the damaged crushers at both quarries, the ministry went ahead with the 5.5 million dollar purchase of the equipment.
He advised that apart from the new equipment purchased, the explosives needed arrived on island approximately two weeks ago and blasting will take place at the Burma Quarry during the course of this week.
Also Shedding some light on the time gap between the purchasing of the explosives was a representative within the said ministry Winston Williams.
“There are protocols when dealing with this kind of situations, this is not buying Colgate or ordering pound of sugar or rice from Guyana, this is a highly explosive piece of item. this minister could not by the snap of a finger just pick up the phone and expect the explosives to be on island immediately.”
He said that “public works do not handle those protocols the Army does.”
Before the end of 2016, the Ministry intends to spend a total of Eastern Caribbean $84.84 Million on the rehabilitation/construction of several major roads island wide.