The closure of the city’s markets

What the market vendors say about…

Interviews and photos
by  Rae Wiltshire

Last week, while the city’s municipal markets were shuttered for two days as a result of a strike by City Council workers over a pay hike, we spoke to several vendors to find out how they were being affected by the closure. Their comments follow:

20141222robinRobin Mars – ‘It affected me a lot because as far as I am concerned this has never happened before. And it’s not like we are getting five per cent. It is Christmas time and I couldn’t get to do any business. People had to stand outside to sell and nothing wasn’t even selling. I hope this is not going to happen again before Christmas because up to now I did not hear anything about compensation.’









20141222ethleneEthlene McGarrel – ‘It is very difficult for me because I am living by myself and I support myself by selling sweets and now the market close for Christmas and I really don’t know what I am going to do. I hope they sort this thing out soon and I can go back to business as per normal.’









20141222shantaShanta Ramgopaul – ‘It affect me a lot because all of my load in the market and I can’t get it to sell. This is serious and I want to know who will compensate me. Because it’s over $100,000 in groceries left in the market. Closing this market around Christmas time is a very serious thing. How am I going to celebrate?’









20141222rudolphRudolph Yearwood – ‘The closure of the market affected me in a major way, but I agree with the closure because the people at City Council got to get paid. Sure it hurt my finances dramatically but I was in agreement with it. Everyone has to make money and it would be unfair for people at City Council to work without proper pay.’









20141222sherrySherry-Ann Moore – ‘I was not paid for two days and I have my child to look after. This closure threw me off guard because it interfered with my Christmas plans. Hopefully sales will pick up for the little working days we have left and I will be able to plan a good Christmas.’









20141222jubrajJubraj Purshotamraj – ‘I came all the way from Essequibo and I don’t have anywhere to put my fruits and vegetables. They are already ripe and I don’t have anywhere to sell them. It’s over $100,000 in harvest that could spoil. They should’ve given people some sort of notice or something, so as to not waste people’s time.’









20141222debbieDebbie Singh – ‘We have to be in the sun here whole day and nothing is selling. We are losing out and I am very stressed out because I don’t know what I will be giving my children for Christmas. It is Christmas time and now they are going to close the market. This is unfair.’









20141222eulahEulah Samaroo – It’s affecting my store a lot because we bought a lot of stocks to sell and to close the market for two days around this Christmas season really affects business. I think the people at City Council should stop fighting because it is affecting market vendors and we should be compensated or City Council should give us back the time that the market was closed for. They are closing the market at 8 on Christmas Eve that should be extended to 12:00. They need to sort themselves out down there because City Council is well set. It is the vendors that are being affected.’









20141222kwameKwami Sinclair – ‘There’s ten more days left for Christmas and we already pay December rent. I am lucky to not have perishables. I am a phone technician, so luckily I won’t have wasted goods, but I feel sorry for the others.’









20141222subhuSubhu Bisram – ‘I am in the cellphone business and the market closure didn’t really affect me that much. But it inconvenienced my customers and broke down communication. I didn’t have any financial losses. Hopefully the inconvenience experienced by customers did not hamper them too much.’









20141222abeenaAbeena Wilson – ‘I invested a lot of money this Christmas and the market closed down so suddenly, it caught me off guard. But you have to keep going and hope for the best. I am hoping that sales will pick up and I will be able to recover my losses.’


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