Indonesia joins multilateral pursuit of ‘practical’, coordinated response to COVID-19

first_imgThe Foreign Ministry’s director of international organizations for developing countries, Kamapradipta Isnomo, said that ICG founding country Canada had invited Indonesia to join.“We decided to join because this initiative focuses on efforts at improving coordination […] in the COVID-19 response. The issues are also very practical, so we like it,” Kama told the Post.The grouping may prove useful, as its member states were all likely facing the same challenges, from the rising numbers of confirmed cases and deaths, to a shortage of medical supplies and to their large diaspora.“If the [ICG] countries can achieve something or come up with common understanding, norms and principles governing these three issues, then we can take the lead in formulating international practices,” he said.In a virtual briefing with reporters on Thursday, Retno said that the group’s 12 countries aim to finalize two protocols – one on supply chains and another on an “air bridge” (agreed airlift routes) – both initiated by Canada.In the coming weeks, senior officials from ICG member states would convene virtually to hammer out the details and finalize the suggested guidelines for adoption, said Kama. Upon endorsement, the member states are expected to immediately implement the protocols and begin advocating them to other countries in the international community.The COVID-19 pandemic has frustrated governments, overstretched the global health crisis response led by the World Health Organization (WHO), and pushed countries to deal with the crisis on their own. According to the latest WHO figures, more than 1.3 million people in the world have contracted the virus that causes COVID-19, with almost 80,000 deaths.“There is a lack of international coordination,” Kama said. “Nations are becoming more inward looking, and rightfully so because they have to take care of their own citizens, but let’s not forget the international cooperation aspect, which is what [the ICG] is trying to achieve.”In particular, the G20 under current chair Saudi Arabia has been called out for its lumbering response to the pandemic. A slew of international figures have urged the international grouping to work faster to implement its members’ pledges, announced in a virtual summit on March 26, to address the deepening global health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19.In an open letter signed by 165 international figures – including 92 former world leaders, former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai – the petitioners called on G20 member states to set up an executive task force and host a global pledging conference to approve and coordinate a multibillion-dollar fund to fight the pandemic.Many of the petitioners – former leaders and other figures who were involved in the global response to the 2008-2010 economic crisis – have pointed out that unlike past crises, the current economic emergency cannot be resolved until the health emergency is addressed.”Much has been done by national governments to counter the downward slide of their economies. But a global economic problem requires a global economic response. Our aim should be to prevent a liquidity crisis turning into a solvency crisis, and a global recession becoming a global depression,” says the open letter.“To ensure this, better coordinated fiscal, monetary, central bank and anti-protectionist initiatives are needed. The ambitious fiscal stimuli of some countries will be all the more effective if [they are] more strongly complemented by all countries in a position to do so.”They said that the G20 must agree immediately to commit US$8 billion as set out by the WHO Global Preparedness Monitoring Board to fill in the most urgent gaps in the global COVID-19 response.The figure includes $1 billion for the WHO, $3 billion for vaccine development and $2.25 billion for clinical treatment. Topics : Indonesia has joined a group of like-minded countries to resolve certain challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic response, in hopes of setting an example that cooperation in producing “practical and implementable” norms and protocols was still possible amid the geopolitical jostling for solutions.Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne initiated the International Coordination Group (ICG) on March 27 during a call he organized with the foreign ministers of  several affected countries.Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi joined the ICG’s ranks during the group’s fifth teleconference on Tuesday.center_img The ICG is comprised primarily of G20 countries including Argentina, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States. The group has also invited non-G20 countries Morocco, Peru and Singapore into the fold.According to the Canadian government’s website, the members of the new grouping have set out to discuss three main issues related to the global response to the pandemic: repatriation of citizens abroad; maintaining the global supply chain, especially for medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE); and support for vulnerable groups.On the issue of repatriation, Retno underlined the need to agree on a procedure to manage the repatriation of citizens that complied with various health protocols. She also shared her notes on Indonesia’s efforts to resolve the shortage of medical supplies through co-production with South Korea.“We need to increase production cooperation between manufacturing countries and raw material supplier countries to ensure the continued availability of personal protective equipment,” Retno said in a statement The Jakarta Post received on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Gov. Wolf Announces More Than $1.8 Million to Support Agricultural Projects in Berks and York Counties

first_img Economy,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of five agricultural projects being funded through the First Industries Fund (FIF). These projects, located in two counties, will help existing farms expand their operations, bring in additional revenue, and transition agribusinesses to the next generation of farmers.“It is critical that we support the commonwealth’s agriculture industry throughout COVID-19 recovery efforts,” Gov. Wolf said. “With Pennsylvania’s agribusiness entwined in communities across the state that rely on them for life-sustaining food and services, we must continue to invest in this industry’s expansion.”The approved projects are as follows:Berks CountyDavid and Marilyn Weaver, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) loan at a 0.75 percent reset rate to construct two 63-feet-by-500-feet broiler houses on their property in Berks County. The Weavers have recently obtained a seven-year contract from Bell and Evans for both houses. The total project cost is $1,275,000.Leon and Lina Burkholder, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 0.75 percent reset rate to purchase a 137.70-acre farm property in Albany Township. The farm has a 200-plus cow dairy facility plus 100 acres of tillable land. The total project cost is $1,070,000.Ricky and Miriam Manwiller, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $273,750 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to purchase a 47.5-acre farm property located in Heidelberg Township. The couple currently lease the property’s 30 tillable acres. The property includes a single-family dwelling, a detached garage, a bank barn and some other outbuildings. The land will continue to be utilized for crop farming. The total project cost is $547,500.Nelson and Mary Troutman, through the Greater Berks Development Fund, were approved for a 15-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to construct two 63-feet-by-500-feet broiler houses on their 121-acre farm. The J&N Troutman, LLC, has been pursuing plans to build these houses for the past two years with Bell and Evans. J&N recently received a seven-year contract from Bell and Evans for the two broiler houses and plans to construct a third broiler house on the property in the near future. The total project cost is $1,150,000.York CountyEric and Bethany Good, through the York County Economic Development Corporation, were approved for a 10-year, $400,000 PIDA loan at a 1.75 percent fixed rate to purchase a 144.34-acre property located at 4840 Biesecker Road, Dover Township. The property houses four 31,500 sq. ft. poultry broiler houses, 65 tillable acres, 30 acres of pasture, 30 acres of woodlands, a barn and a residence. All four broiler houses are under a long-term contract with Perdue Foods LLC/Colman Natural Foods Organic Production Program. The totally project cost is $3,200,000.More information about the Commonwealth Financing Authority can be found on the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) website. Gov. Wolf Announces More Than $1.8 Million to Support Agricultural Projects in Berks and York Counties September 15, 2020center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgEuropean Parliament – The economic and monetary affairs committee (ECON) of the European Parliament has appointed Kay Swinburne, of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, as co-rapporteur on the legislative file on the recovery and resolution of central counterparties. The European Commission in early December published a legislative proposal for a regulation on this issue. Swinburne was the rapporteur on the own initiative (non-legislative) report that was the precursor to the legislative report.Hedge Fund Standards Board – Luke Ellis, chief executive at Man Group, and Henry Kenner, chief executive and founder of Arrowgrass Capital Partners, have been appointed to the board. The HFSB – the global standard-setting body for the alternative investment industry and custodian of the Hedge Fund Standards – also announced that it was forming a working group on liquid alternatives. Edmond de Rothschild Group, Swiss Life Asset Managers, The Pensions Regulator, European Parliament, Hedge Fund Standards Board, Man Group, Arrowgrass Capital PartnersEdmond de Rothschild Group – Vincent Taupin has been named head of the global asset management division, following the resignation of Roderick Munsters. Munsters quit the firm “for personal reasons”, the Edmond de Rothschild Group said in a statement. He had been in charge of the asset management group for just seven months, having succeeded Laurent Tignard in May. Taupin will take on the new role from 1 January. He was previously chair of the executive board of Edmond de Rothschild’s French operations. The company has also appointed Didier Deléage as chief executive of Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (France). He is currently global COO for the asset management firm.Swiss Life Asset Managers – Michael Klose is to become chief executive of third-party asset management at Swiss Life Asset Managers as of 1 January 2017. He succeeds Thierry Van Rossum, who in future will be concentrating entirely on his function as CIO of Swiss Life France and will continue to serve as chief executive at Swiss Life Asset Management (France).The Pensions Regulator (TPR) – Three non-executive directors have been appointed to the UK regulator’s board. Kirstin Baker will join on 1 February 2017, followed by Robert Herga on 1 July 2017. David Martin is being re-appointed on 1 February, following an open competition. The appointments are for four years and four months. They fill vacancies created by the departures of Graham Mayes and Ann Berresford, whose terms of office come to an end in 2017.last_img read more

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BW Energy Brings Online Tortue Phase 2 Project

first_imgBW Energy (BWE) has produced first oil from the Tortue Phase 2 field development project in the Dussafu Marin Permit offshore Gabon. The Gamba well DTM-5H was  brought online ahead of schedule. The second well, DTM-4H, is scheduled to come onstream in the coming week.Phase 2 consists of four production wells, tied back to the FPSO BW Adolo. The DTM-4H and DTM-5H are the first of two clusters.The second cluster is currently being drilled and is scheduled to begin production by June 2020.Total production after completion of Phase 2 is projected to be 17.3 – 21.6 kbopd gross for 2020 from six producing wells, compared with an average of 11.8 kbopd gross produced in 2019. “Tortue Phase 2 will provide a substantial increase in production this year and we are pleased to again have executed ahead of schedule. Following completion of Tortue Phase 2, we will seek to unlock additional reserves through a new exploration well in the Dussafu license where we so far have had 100% exploration success rate,” said Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Energy.The Dussafu Marin JV consists of BW Energy (Operator, 73.5% working interest), Tullow Oil (10% working interest), Gabon Oil Company (9% working interest) and Panoro Energy (7.5% working interest).last_img read more

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Batesville Airport announces December closure

first_imgBatesville, In. — Citing a lack of city and county support Batesville Aviation Services will close the airport at 25222 Enochsburg Road on December 1, 2017.Friday airport owners Charles and John Whittington released the following statement:“Batesville Aviation Services would be open to the idea of working with Greensburg to have a combined regional airport close by at the Batesville facility,” Batesville Airport representatives said in a statement. “It has an outstanding 6,000-plus-foot runway, a large tarmac and over 34,000 square feet of hanger space. The facility is in great shape and still in compliance as a public airport, but without the community helping with some of the operating funds, it is forced to close its doors.”After construction in 1961, the airport was operated by Hillenbrand Industries until 2012 when the Whittingtons purchased the property.last_img read more

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County engineer says rural roads starting to improve

first_imgMASON CITY — Cerro Gordo County’s engineer says rural roads are starting to improve after a messy start to spring. Brandon Billings says the roads are starting to firm up as much of the region has been dealing with frost boils.“We’re going to be putting a little larger rock in, so be about an inch and a half inch or inch and a quarter rock we put in there. We’ll let traffic beat that in for a while and then we’ll continue putting regular surfacing on those spots. In the interim, with inch and a quarter rock is out, it’s going to be a rougher ride and louder in those spots for a short period of time, but it should help firm those up a little quicker since the bases are draining out and the roads are getting their structure back, so it should help those spots at least for this year. I’m not guaranteeing next year but it all depends on how the frost goes next year.”Billings says another item his office has been dealing with recently are reports of tile problems.  “There’s a lot of tile problems coming to light this year and some left over from last year, so it may be a thing where I’m going to look into getting outside assistance in getting some of those done. I can’t give you any more details on that at the moment because I have to figure out exactly how we’re going to handle that, but it is something I’m pursuing to help speed that along.”Billings made his comments during his weekly report during the county Board of Supervisors meeting.last_img read more

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LGE results a foretaste of what is to come in 2020

first_imgDear Editor,Somewhere in one of the dailies the question was asked, are we getting a new or a renovated airport? The article went on to explain why Guyana was about to get a spruced up or renovated old airport, reasons being, it bears no resemblance to that ultra-modern facility inked by the former Administration. That airport most certainly, would have been completed within 32 months had the People’s Progressive Party/Civic been in office. However, what we see is a coalition Government that cannot get anything right – they are into a fourth year of their governance. To top it off, more money had been expended, and maybe millions more, yet that “brand new second hand” airport cannot meet a completion date, unbelievable! Is this a Government that anyone can place their trust in? I would hastily respond with a resounding no!Now, I would bring into focus the East Bank Demerara highway that goes along with this airport modernisation. This too cannot get off the ground, so to speak, with the latest report of the simple construction of a roundabout at the Timehri Junction becoming a stumbling block to further progress there. These and other lame excuses, too numerous to mention, are the order of the day when you analyse the performance of this People’s National Congress-led coalition Government.Other major projects like the East Coast Highway, which should have been completed up to its proposed location at Belfield, is also another eyesore backwardness that will never see completion. So, the question comes back again – what has this coalition Government achieved by way of major projects? And the answer comes back very little if anything at all.We are talking about millions of dollars in spending and millions more to be spent, can this Government get it right? Seems not! In 2015, I am sure Guyanese were looking forward to an Administration that in all fairness said it was going into office to make that all important change; however, what change was actually effected? The change we have witnessed so far is a Government that has enriched itself two months into existence and is right now showing its gross incompetence in getting the people’s business right. No wonder the last Local Government Election gave them the shocking reminder that we are not going to put up with this nonsense any longer.So, come 2020 or before, the people of this country will continue that pattern of rebuke when an outright rejection would be in place.Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

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Harris Paints continues to champion building career pathways with Youth Employment Programme

first_imgHarris Paints, the Caribbean Champions of Colour, once again launched its annual Internship and Summer Employment Programme, showing its continued investment in the future workforce across the Caribbean.According to a release from the company, over 40 interns from Jamaica, Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, and Guyana, in addition to others from as far as Canada, were selected to participate in the 2016 programme which began in May and runs until August 31.With studies varying from Science/Engineering, Chemistry, Business Management and Finance, to Tourism & Hospitality, Marketing and Aviation Management, the students were challenged to use their skills and training to add value to the workplace while advancing their career goals.Marguerite Desir, senior VP for Human Resources and head of Harris Paints Guyana, St Lucia and Dominica, said, “Our goal is to offer opportunities to these students who have clearly expressed a desire to work and showcase a level of proactivity and creative out-the-box thinking that belies their age. In doing so, Harris is helping young adults take the next step in their career path and our region as a whole take the next step in developing our future workforce.”One intern, Abigail Welch from Guyana, who is studying in Canada and majoring in Economics and Finance said: “It was certainly a privilege to work at the Caribbean’s leader in the paint industry. My experience working in the finance department alongside the Senior VP Finance was rewarding. I learnt so many things that will better equip me as a new grad entering the corporate world. I thoroughly enjoyed the internship programme as it has been a transformative experience and allowed me to demonstrate my true potential.”This year Harris Paints also collaborated with the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) which offers an annual Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE). SPISE is an intense four-week enrichment residential summer programme for the most gifted Caribbean high-school students, 16-17 years of age, who are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. Several SPISE graduates are currently attending MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia and University College London as freshmen or sophomores.The long-term goals of the programme are, to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science engineering, to groom the next generation of science, engineering technology and business leaders in the Caribbean, and to help diversify the economies of the Caribbean by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship, the release added. About Harris Paints: Harris Paints celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, having started as a small manufacturing operation in Barbados. Still owned and managed locally, it is now a regional paint manufacturer promoting quality objectives built on the five core values of the Harris Group of Companies, inclusive of: High Ethical Standards; Excellent Customer Service and Quality; Development of People and Team Work; Excellent Business Efficiency; and the highest regard for Safety, Health and the Environment. Harris Paints operates in five countries across the region -Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Guyana and Jamaica, trading there as B-H Paints and employs over 200 staff region-wide. Harris Paints’ premium quality painting and decorating solutions can be found at over 1400 dealers (with 70+ Harris/BH Paints Colour centres) spread across 15 countries throughout the Caribbean.last_img read more

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Chambers, Weah Ditch Lawrence’s Funeral

first_imgA cross-section of sympathizers at the Sacred Heart CathedralHaving been accused by some of his fellow lawmakers that he has failed to play the required leadership role, mainly in managing circumstances which led to government not holding a state requiem for fallen Montserrado District #15 Representative, Adolph Lawrence, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers did not attend the funeral service held on Friday, April 26, 2019.In spite of the Speaker’s notable absence from the funeral service at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, the ceremony went on peacefully, although several of the mourners expressed grief and surprise at his behavior, which one mourner (not named) described as being “heartless.”Other CDC elected officials who were conspicuously absent from the funeral included Thomas Fallah, Acarous M. Gray and President George M. Weah. Notably, President Weah and Speaker Chambers were in full attendance at the funeral of the late Senator Geraldine Doe Sherif, which was held at the same venue, just weeks earlier.It may be recalled that several lawmakers on Thursday, April 25, 2019, also expressed their frustration and disappointment when a planned solemn state requiem was not held for their fallen colleague in the Rotunda of the Capitol Building due to a scuffle that erupted reportedly between a group of militants from the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and others from the Liberty Party (LP) and its collaborating political parties.“We have said it on numerous occasions that Chambers has proven to us his inability to play the role of a speaker. This is why we have decided to be called the Independent Legislative Caucus to bring sanity to the House,” Representative Larry Younquoi told journalists on Thursday, following the disruption of the planned state requiem in the Rotunda.Also speaking to the Daily Observer via telephone, Margibi County Electoral District #2, Ivar, K. Jones, said it is left to Speaker Chambers — and no one else — to tell the Liberian people the reason he did not attend the funeral ceremony of the late Lawrence.“With that hanging over Chambers’ head, we the members of the Independent Legislative Caucus will not relent to ensure that sanity is restored at that august body.”At Friday’s funeral service, Carlos Edinson Tingba, one of the persons who survived the accident in which Rep. Adolph Lawrence and a young female university graduate lost their lives, told reporters that he will never agree with anyone that the late Lawrence and the young lady’s tragic deaths are not political.“Being alive today does not mean I am better. All I can say is that I was not a direct target, but the lawmaker. This government has a calculated attempt to eliminate all critical voices against its poor management of the country,” Tingba alleged.According to him, he was not surprised that Speaker Chambers did not attend the funeral service of the fallen lawmaker.University of Liberia Student Unification Party Chairman, Carlos Edinson Tingba (in blue T-shirt) with bandage at his left hand survived the accident in which Rep. Adolph Lawrence died. He attended the funeral to pay his last respect to the fallen Lawmaker“Some of us, I am sure, may die too for our strong advocacy against ineptitude and poor governance of our nation, but we will not relent. The moment I recover, we will amalgamate more strong minds that will join us in the Weah step down campaign,” Tingba, who is the chairman of the University of Liberia (UL) Student Unification Party (SUP), said.Still recovering from injuries, Tingba said the country should have no confidence in the leadership of President George Weah to provide security for all, as well as other basic necessities.He said his going up with a number of militants of SUP to bid farewell to Rep. Lawrence was because the late lawmaker was a product of the UL, who later became a Geology instructor with so much passion to motivate young people.“His ideology was synonymous to ours. As he believed and worked for justice, so we too have stood ever since to pursue justice for the benefit of the suffering masses,” Tingba said as limped in excruciating pain due to his wounds.At the Sacred Heart Cathedral, scores of sympathizers made reference to the fallen Lawmaker’s humility and the simplistic life he lived, which they said imbued him with love.Delivering a tribute on behalf of the Senate and also on his family’s behalf, Senate Protempore Albert Tugbe Chie said, other than their meeting at the Legislature, he knew Lawrence for a long time. He said Lawrence was a good person, committed to sacrificing his personal comfort for the well-being of others.“We will all miss him, because he was a utility player at the Capitol, who was always of help, not only at that august body, but even at the Senate too. He used to encounter chambers to support the Legislative quests of his wife, Senator Yongblee Karnga-Lawrence,” Senator Chie said.Hundreds of the mourners were in tears as stories of the late Adolph Lawrence, particularly concerning his assistance to his district and acts of good will to individuals.Among those who paid tributes at Friday’s funeral service, was former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Kabineh Mohammed Ja’neh, who represented the Nimba Women United for Peace and Reconciliation.He described the loss of Lawrence as a blow to the country, because he was always there in the interest of the ordinary citizens.“One character of Lawrence I so much cherished — because that is me — is being bold on issues affecting the larger society,” Ja’neh said other mourners, many of who were visibly weeping.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Berbice security guards sent home empty-handed again

first_imgSeveral security guards in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) attached to Integrated Security Service were on Friday evening give their transportation fare to go home, after waiting for almost 12 hours for their salaries, to no avail.The guards had been waiting outside the company’s office situated at Trinity Street, New Amsterdam, for owed salaries. When Guyana Times visited the security guards on Friday afternoon, it was relayed that some persons were waiting close to 12 hours. Some were paid while others were sent away empty-handed. Those who were not paid were told to return on Tuesday for their salary.Some of the guards have not been paid since January of this year.One of the guards told this publication that several of them have been very patient with management of the security service but noted that they are being treated very unfairly.Guards flocked Integrated Security Service for hours waiting on their pay on Friday evening“He tell we that we can go to who we want, no one can’t make him pay we. He is very disrespectful; some of these people could be his grandmother,” one guard related in tears on Friday night, saying that she had nothing to cook and was waiting on the money to buy groceries.“He tell me, is not he send me to make children,” the single parent added, when she related that she has children to feed.The guards were attached to a private company, which has been contracted to provide security services for schools, hospitals and other Government buildings in the region, as well as the Regional Democratic Council compound. More than 200 guards were not paid.Meanwhile, for most of those who walked out of the office with an envelope, there were no smiles on their faces, as they said the money they received will all go into paying debts. “Dis money aint right,” many told Guyana Times.According to the guards, only some of them were paid in full for December but the majority only received a part payment for December and January.On Friday, some of the workers were paid at the New Amsterdam office. However, the majority were told that they will be paid this week.Some of the guards were told that their money was deposited at a commercial bank but when Guyana Times visited that bank in New Amsterdam, several guards were there and all claimed that there was no money in their accounts, as was related by management of the security firm.“What will we do now? He said that he don’t have money to pay everybody,” one frustrated guard related.Meanwhile, a source close to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) said the security company visited the RDC with documents purporting to indicate that all of the guards were paid for the month of January.Chief Executive Officer of the company, Ghalee Khan told the guards to take him to the Labour Department if they feel that they were treated unfairly.Meanwhile, many of the workers are single parents, with school age children. The workers met outside of the company’s Trinity Street, New Amsterdam office and expressed their frustrations. The workers complained that they have worked inflexible hours and earned nothing.Meanwhile, guards in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) who are employed by the same company are also being made to wait on their salaries. The situation is the same with monies allegedly being owed for the months of December and January. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img read more

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