Roberts: TUC insisted on sale of assets

The former Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) was forced to sell government assets in order to borrow liquid cash from the State-run National Insurance Scheme (NIS).

This was hinted at by Trade Union representative in the Senate, Raymond Roberts, who is a former General Secretary of the Grenada Trade Union Council (GTUC).

The 2008-13 Congress administration sold several non-productive assets to NIS in order to meet its monthly financial commitments especially salaries to public workers.

During a resent appearances on the weekly “Sunday with “George Grant” programme, Sen. Roberts told the host of the programme that when the former government wanted to borrow money from NIS it was the trade union body that pioneered the move to get national assets in exchange.

“We said the only way our Directors (on the NIS) will support (is) if (government) would be giving some assets”, he said.




According to Sen. Roberts, one of the members of the TUC on the NIS Board of Directors felt strongly if government constantly borrowed from the NIS, it could create some difficulties for the fund.

Although he did not name the TUC representative, it is believed to be someone aligned to the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) of President-General, Chester Humphrey.

The TAWU boss adopted a hardline stand against Congress who expelled him as a member in late 2012.

The TUC is currently engaged in a battle with the 16-month old Keith Mitchell-led government on its intention to seek a 50-60% haircut in monies owed to the fund by the State.

Prime Minister Mitchell is insisting on the hair-cut from the fund as part of a Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) that is expected to run for the next three years.

Since taking office, the NNP regime has borrowed EC$20M from NIS to pay salaries to government employees.

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