What a commendable performance. They could take it no more – government employees particularly at the Ministerial Complex, Ministry of Education, and Financial Complex among others who had been making representation to the authorities about the appalling conditions under which they work.
As recently as last week there was an article in the press complaining of the deplorable condition under which policemen at the South St. George Police Station have to work.
Year in, year out employees particularly at the Ministerial Complex have been complaining – several investigations were made, reports of the findings and recommendations were made, but little has been done to rectify the situation.
It is heartening to see so many of the employees muster the courage to stage a one hour demonstration in order to bring forcefully their plight to the government.
It was very sad to hear from several of them of the length and number of times they were affected by the conditions which have been causing the undisputed illness of several of them over the years; which has caused them much suffering; tidy sums and who knows possible deaths.
This has brought to my mind the concerns at one time of employees at Port St. George, who worked in the asbestos buildings there. It is an established fact that asbestos is one of the causes of cancer.
The air condition units at several of the departments at the Ministerial Complex are known to have been malfunctioning, putting out uncontrollable temperature, so much so that some days ice was seen forming on the glass.
Employees were quite often seen wearing certain types of clothing to keep them comfortable.
The fact that so many employees were seen wearing facemasks on the morning of the demonstration depicted that there were experiencing respiratory and other related problems.
It is said that at least two persons died recently, who knows possible of cancer. I say this with all due respect to those families who lost their love ones, but the question is – is it possible that the air pollution there could have been a factor for the cause of their deaths?
While there were many who demonstrated their disgust over the bad conditions in the various government departments; there were definitely others who for fear of victimisation were not seen in the protest action.
There were also others who foolishly felt that the action was political – regrettable the latter are short sighted.
In all of this, however I trust that the powers-that-be will move expeditiously to have the situation corrected, as it not only affects the employees health and a high cost to them trying to maintain their health but also low production.
Government must be reminded that the health of its people is its wealth.
If the demonstration as displayed, which was orderly, peaceful and impressive does not cause the Cabinet of Ministers to act positively in the interest of those employees then tell me what will?
Hence it is incumbent that the necessary funds be found to rectify the situation before long.