City crisis continues…

The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) yesterday announced that garbage contractors have withdrawn their services over pay and residents are advised not to put their garbage out for collection.

As another strike by workers who have not been paid their salaries for the month of October looms, Mayor of Georgetown Hamilton Green will be meeting with them this morning to discuss the issue.

A press release from the council stated that it is hard-pressed to honour its financial obligations to contractors who have rendered services to the City.

According to the release receptacles that are put out will not be cleared but the sanitary landfill site off Mandela Avenue is still in operation.

Householders who want to use this facility should contact City Hall at 223-5123 or 223-5126.

In relation to the unpaid salaries, another release said that the council continues to face serious financial challenges and it is unfortunate that workers have not been paid.

The release noted that Mayor Green apologized to the workers at his press conference held on Friday.

At a meeting scheduled for this morning the Mayor will bring workers up to date with the current situation and seek cooperation to reverse the situation.

At Friday’s press conference, when asked by the media, Town Clerk Beulah Williams had said that she could not speak on the issue of payments but stressed that the municipality had an obligation to pay and will do so. She however could not say when.

General Secretary of the Guyana Labour Union Carvil Duncan when contacted later told this newspaper that the workers will begin a sit-in exercise and if things don’t improve they will take to the streets until it does.

Earlier this year the council announced that it was cash-strapped and the Mayor laid the blame at the feet of Central Government for not allowing it to broaden its revenue base. The city is over $643M in debt even though a massive campaign was launched to collect outstanding rates and taxes. Garbage collection companies – Cevons, Puran Brothers and others are owed millions.

In June work in the city was halted after workers were not paid but this situation was quickly rectified after the government threw a $40M lifeline to the council.

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