SVG

84 jobs at risk as Gov’t moves to disband Port Police

“But one thing is clear, nobody can stop a government from restructuring. And there will be a restructuring at the Port. No if, maybe, or but.” — PM Gonsalves.  

"... I know the people of this country will see the sense of which I am talking band will say it’s high time that we stop a lot of foolish ill-discipline which goes on with some people," Gonsalves told Parliament.

“… I know the people of this country will see the sense of which I am talking band will say it’s high time that we stop a lot of foolish ill-discipline which goes on with some people,” Gonsalves told Parliament.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 27, IWN – The nation’s 84 Port Police officers are at risk of unemployment as the Government restructures security at ports.

The move comes after an alleged sickout last month that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament today — Monday — exposed the country to potential negative repercussions under the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

The Port Authority has denied that Port Police officers went on sickout.

Further, the Public Service Union (PSU), which represents the workers, told I-Witness News that it did not institute any industrial action at the Port neither has the Port informed it of any industrial action there.

Last month, police officers were called in to provide security at Port Kingstown after several Port Police officers called in sick or presented sick notes.

The Port Police officers returned to work in the wake of the police substitution, Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, announced the restructuring even as he acknowledged the potential political fallout.

“But one thing is clear, nobody can stop a government from restructuring. And there will be a restructuring at the Port. No if, maybe, or but,” he said during the debate on an amendment to the Protection of Employment Act.

“I am prepared to accept that the flexible system of the Port Police has not been a success…” he said.

He further said St. Vincent and the Grenadines will join other nations that have used regular police officers to secure their ports.

“I am taking a decision in the interest of the people,” Gonsalves said in direct response to the suggestion by Central Kingstown representative, St. Clair Leacock, an opposition lawmaker, that the severed workers and their relatives will vote against the government.

Gonsalves said that the Port Authority has informed him that it only needs 55 to 60 Port Police officers.

“But, in order to help … people who don’t necessarily have their CXCs and so on, to give them a job, you have 84 of them,” he said.

He said that all Port Police officers will have an opportunity to apply to the police force.

“But, clearly, if they are going to have a new employment relationship, all of them will have to be severed. And if they have to be severed, they have to be paid in accordance with the protection of Employment Act,” the Prime Minister said.

But Cools Vanloo, head of the PSU, told I-Witness News today that since new applicants to the Police Force must be younger than 35 years, “a significant number” of Port Police officer will not qualify.

Further, some of them will do not meet the academic benchmark, Vanloo said, adding that the Port Authority did not adhere to its own recruitment criteria.

But Gonsalves said that he is not tolerating ill discipline at the Port.

He further said persons would say he was a bad minister of national security and allowed the Port to be blacklisted.

“I will not allow that to happen,” Gonsalves told lawmakers.

He said while he does not want to see anyone on the breadline, “… you must have an obligation to be disciplined with work.

“And the first opportunity that there is a problem, you don’t create an industrial action, which is deleterious to the Port and to the country and to yourself.”

Gonsalves further said he cannot allow importers and exporters and other Port users to have problems at the Port.

“I cannot allow all those things to be disrupted. I can’t allow, because of confusion manufactured by some at the Port, to allow the cost of doing business in St. Vincent to go up so that poor people would have to pay more for goods,” he said.

“And who want to take their finger, as the honourable member for Central Kingstown said, and put it elsewhere, well that is one thing I am not afraid of.

“Because I know the people of this country will see the sense of which I am talking and will say it’s high time that we stop a lot of foolish ill discipline which goes on with some people … who want to use their own condition with political axes to grind to make ordinary workers be led astray. Well, let them find jobs for them,” Gonsalves said.

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “84 jobs at risk as Gov’t moves to disband Port Police

  1. Choosing the weak to bully is far from the role of a prime minister. Someone should of told them that they would suffer spite and malice if the sicked out.

    At least every action like this that the workers and public see as unfair, is another nail in Gonsalves coffin.

    See the nasty clever-dick smirk, thats the real picture of a tirent.

    Posted by peterbinose | May 27, 2013, 18:46
  2. I see nothing “unfair” about this situation. Its unfortunate some poor souls are going to be on the breadline, but this is how the cookie crumble at times.Firing folks is never a good political move and certainly these folks will be looking for payback come election and rightly so. Maybe its unfair in the sense that there are so many ULP moochers, getting considerable amount of money for doing basically nothing. Its those jobs that need restructuring and the curbing of the wanton misused of taxes payers money for harebrained schemes like the Owia Fisheries Complex.

    Like the NDP in 2001 and Labour in 84, the incumbent has run its course and just waiting for the electorate to put them out of their misery;now the time has come for this Gonsalves Administration to be laid to rest. The Bulwood is just around the corner.

    Posted by Teacherfang (@Llijame) | May 28, 2013, 16:36
  3. TEACHERFAG, continue DREAMING.

    The ULP government is just in the MIDDLE STAGES of DEVELOPING St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

    They have a INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT to COMPLETE, which the NDP called a PHANTOM PROJECT.

    They have a NEW CITY to BUILD in Arnos Vale; a TUNNEL UNDER CANE GARDEN to BUILD; A NEW HOSPITAL to BUILD; THE NATIONAL STADIUM to BUILD; A NEW PORT KINGSTOWN TO BUILD and other DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS to COMPLETE.

    That said; which PARTY are you HOPING to REPLACE the ULP? It has to be the GREEN PARTY, because that COMMESS/LYING POLITICAL PARTY called the NDP, which has nothing of WORTH to show for its 17 years in OFFICE, is not FIT to MANAGE a MAUBY SHOP much less a COUNTRY.

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | May 29, 2013, 16:16
  4. Gonsalves said in Parliament this week, that the port police are 20 men overmanned. If he knows that they are probably the ULP ‘Own the jobs’ contingent, that will no longer own the jobs, because Papa says on you bike, bugger off.

    Being the weakest government employees after the irrigation workers, I can understand him stomping on them, how dare they front him up and demand what they are due.

    Posted by peterbinose | May 29, 2013, 17:34
  5. When there is any employee sickout,picketing,or go slow it should be done with union arrangement and supervision; so I blame the union the portpolice commissioner and supervisors for not properly informing these employees under their command. Firing,someone is the most harsh and last decision a Boss must take unless their is no other alternative such as ‘temporary suspension witout pay’. On the other hand any govt has the power to restructure to provide better security,financial or economical benefit.

    Posted by profdasilva | May 30, 2013, 19:09
  6. VincyPowa,I cannot stand reading lies and nasty scandals. I repeatedly wrote that I really have no party affiliation but only to see vincentians get a fair share. This is why I can aford to say or write what I believe in about any ANY Party and I an not dwelling on the PAST. You keep repeating the past, more than you talk about the present. The people wants to hear about the present and the future.I told you that each Premier or Prime minister
    continues progress from his predecessor.I am sure that is how ST.Vincent is built and will continue to be this way to become gradually a bigger and bigger nation. You talk like Gonsalves is the ONLY PRIME-MINISTER that has done all for ST.Vincent and that shows how you are an ungrateful spoil child. Stop writing things like {NDP has nothing of worth to show for 17 years]because you sound like an alien off part of our planet earth called ST.Vincent.
    Under ET joshua people start using bamboo to block the road when planes were landing and taking off.Your mother did not tell that,cause I guess you were{ dripping in your pampers then}. Under Cato govt the bamboo road block later on declined. There are more examples I can compare and contrast between[Cato and ET Joshua Govt}.Under Cato Govt there was no BUS TERMINAL,no PRIME MINISTER AND DEPUTY COMPLEX, NO PROPER GROUND FOOD AND MEAT MARKET,NO PROPER CWSA BUILDING ECT. FOOLISH MAN THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE ME HOME AND IN ABROAD WHO LOVE THEIR COUNTRY AND LIKE TO SEE THINGS RUNNING WELL. ANY ONE MAKES A COMPLAINT ABOUT ULP GOVT YOU CALL THEM A ‘RALPH HATER’. YOU ARE SO UNFAIR AND UNREASONABLE BAG OF GABBAGE. I TOLD YOU IN THE PAST, BASE ON YOUR POWER OF REASONING ONLINE THAT YOUR ARE UNEDUCATED,I ASKED YOU PROOVE HOW FAR YOU REACH IN SCHOOL AND YOU COULD N’T,YET YOU WANT TO DISCREDIT MY YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES, MY LIVING AND MY BREADWINNER,DO YOU THINK I LIVE TO DEPEND ON POLITICIAN LIKE YOU? DO YOU WORK OR POLITICIANS BUY YOU BY CASH?
    I ASK YOU TO SHOW ME PROOF:
    1.That more than 50% of school children not attending school during NDP GOVT
    2.That ULP Govt sold crown lands in canouan for peanuts
    3.That Gonsalves is the best Prime Minister in the Caribbean AND MORE.
    BUT YOU FAILED TO RESPOND.
    Vincypowa,I may be a civilright activits but for sure not a party activist or party fanatic. Its time you listen to people concern and ideas and stop ‘labeling people with your dumb identities.’

    Posted by profdasilva | May 30, 2013, 20:54
  7. @Vincypowa, Where are they going to get the money from to build these things? SVG is already in the worst debt in our history. You have no idea about money management or common sense and that is why you can spew your political fanatic nonsense. But as a Vincentian at least try to make sense, you’re making us all look bad.

    Why is a “Labor Party” destroying the labor force in the country? “Agriculture done, tourism now” Does that sound like something that a Labor party should say?. This is what happens when people high jack your party, remember Gonsalves is not a labor man,he hijacked the party with deals he is still repaying today. Every last one of them should be investigated and locked up if found of corruption.

    And then the same Tourism that they want to support, they are destroying it by holding the Grenadines people malice. I personally know of a few people, friends of mine, who are waiting for Ralph to leave office to come and invest in SVG. I hope Vincentians realize that bribery and smiles cannot make up for gross incompetence, when it comes to running a country. And the NDP ran the country great for most of there time in office. I should know, I was there under Sir james.

    I will personally come home when these crooks are tried and sentence for misuse of power and corruption.

    Posted by saneblane | May 30, 2013, 21:45

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