Quick action on the part of government diffused a potentially explosive situation as the Public Workers Union (PWU) was preparing to take action following complaints from its members at the Mt Gay Mental Hospital about the stench of water coming out of the Chinese built housing project.
Union President, Adrian Francis, told reporters Friday that the bargaining body for the workers was pleased with the speedy response of Government in rectifying the problems faced by the workers at the Mental institution.
Residents and a few business operators in the area have been complaining in recent weeks about the stench emanating from running water, suspected to be coming from the sewer at the Chinese housing project.
A team of GRENLEC workers and a representative from the Ministry of Works visited the Chinese houses on Friday to install a pump in the sewage system.
THE NEW TODAY understands that waste from the sewage system was running along the road and down to the hospital giving off a very foul odor, which created discomfort for workers.
The workers were also forced to walk through the wastewater on their way to and from their work place.
PWU officials told reporters that the sewage system at the Chinese Rehabilitation houses was without a pump and as such the waste was not being pushed properly into the sewage tanks.
“We had complaints from the workers at the Mt Gay Hospital about the system that is at the housing project at Mt Rush. They made a complaint and we gave an ultimatum that if, by Friday, nothing is done, the Union will take whatever action necessary or the workers can remove themselves according to the Labour Code,” said President Francis.
However, the PWU boss expressed some degree of pleasure with the progress that was made to rectify the problem.
“We are noticing that the water is no longer flowing on the road so the workers are now walking on dry land. We are here, at the site of the pump, and we are seeing progress also being made in terms of installing a three-phase system that would pump the waste out…”, he said.
“…What we also notice is that they may not be any water flow out in the roads again or even a smell to hamper the workers on their way or while they are on the job,” he remarked.
PWU’s 1st Vice President, Rachel Roberts, who also addressed the local media, assured them that the threat of possible industrial action had receded and whatever anticipated action was in the making will not take place anymore.
“We are happy that this has happened and right now our members are extremely delighted that this has occurred and we would not take any action at this moment. We do not have any reason to take any action presently because we see that some progress is being made…”, she said.
According to Roberts, the authorities are seemingly making “all attempts to resolve the matter and we are very happy about it … because it was a very unhealthy situation, a situation that could later on in life result in many health complications for our members”.
Officer in Charge of the Electrical Inspectorate Unit in the Ministry of Works, Anthony Ross, gave assurances that the system, which was installed, can be considered to be durable.
“It should last for quite a while, as long as everything is ok as with systems, they work for a timeframe and then through wear and tear they will tend to give way but it’s new motors that are being installed so it should work for quite a while,” said Ross.
The Chinese housing project as a gift to the government and people of Grenada as part of the decision taken by a former Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration in 2005 to dump Taiwan for the Chinese on the Mainland.