The workers from the new IMC of Anna Regina have been complaining about not receiving their wages/salaries, increases and retroactive payments for quite a while. The Ministry of Local Government has been turning a blind eye to their suffering, while it has been doling out money to other workers in the other municipalities and NDCs across the country.
In my honest opinion, I think the government and the Ministry of Local Government do not care about these workers and their families. I was told by the workers who worked there with me for decades, that this matter of payment owed was raised with the Minister and the Regional Chairman, but no one is concerned how they find meals to go to work every day at the IMC.
Letters and a petition were sent to the President by the workers requesting their outstanding monies for a period of over a year without any acknowledgement. The official entities never expected that one day the workers would get fed up and down tools as they did. This IMC has been strapped for cash over the years. If one looks at the monthly financial statements, you will see that expenditure is more than income. The government subventions each year can hardly do anything for the township.
The indications are that the IMC general rates, market earnings and revenue are slowing down as a result of both external and internal factors. The question is what does the Ministry of Local Government and the government intend to do to deal on a long-term basis with the wages and salaries issue and the problem of management of the finances? It is evident that given the reality there are more challenges ahead.
The new garbage truck which was donated by CIDA to help clean the township and collect money from taxpayers was taken away by the Ministry of Local Government and the service was contracted out to Puran brothers. This would have been one source of income for the IMC to help defray its expenses and generate an income. No one can blame the IMC for its poor performance; the blame should be laid squarely at the door of the Minister of Local Government for poor planning. As long as politics are involved in the day-to-day functions of these municipalities and NDCs, it is not good.
The IMC was given a basket to fetch water; the workers worked long hours and were not receiving enough money for themselves and families. Their working conditions have not been improving and no one has been looking at their rights. Dozens of workers took to the streets and registered their call for their outstanding payments. The reasons are evident – a lack of livelihood and no firm conviction and action by the government to pay them.