Plight of road workers

I wish to bring to your attention the plight of the people who are employed to work on our roads, debushing and cleaning drains. The conditions under which these people are forced to work are degrading and inhumane.

The majority of these persons are females and no provision is made for their health, safety and dignity. Many of them sometimes are accompanied by their small children.

These people use cutlasses, spades, shovels, forks and rakes…….the most primitive tools, yet no attempt is made to protect them from cuts, bruises and other injuries. I am quite certain that there is not one First Aid Kit provided!

The bushes along our roadsides serve as a dumping ground for all kinds of dangerous wastes, like bottles, tins, household waste, as well as human and animal waste. And God-knows – what! Yet not one pair of gloves or safety gear, including masks and goggles and boots is provided for them.

These workers at some point in time must sit  and eat and have a meal or feel the “call” of Nature to relieve themselves. Where do they go? There is no shelter from the sun and rain, no drinking water or water to wash their hands; no portable toilets! Is this how we treat our own workers, mothers, fathers, sisters and daughter, cousins?

There is always the talk of poverty alleviation. A key factor in achieving this utopia is raising human dignity. where all workers must operate in safe and secure and hygienic environment. It is, therefore, necessary that urgent steps be taken to address this disgraceful and degrading situation!

We drive past these people and never care or wonder about the nasty and dangerous conditions under which they are forced to work despite the weather conditions. They have no Unions or Church Group or NGO’s to speak for them. Even the Media doesn’t care, except to add to the News the Number of Gangs and people who are employed!

I have written on this issue before hoping that the TUC and other individuals and organisations would champion the plight of these workers. But no one has done or said anything about Road Workers and their degrading working conditions.
I wish to assure that I have no personal “stake” in this matter; I am merely concerned that these are workers too and deserve the same rights and privileges as any other worker.

Their employers MUST provide them with safety gears and other amenities so that they too work in safety and dignity to preserve their health and well-being.

Keen Observer

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