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Scrap iron dealers claim discrimination

Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon welcomes Allan Ferguson, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers Association at the meeting.

President of the Scrap Iron Dealers Association Allan Ferguson believes that obstacles are being deliberately placed in the way of the organisation obtaining a licence to operate.

Speaking during a news conference yesterday Ferguson said his organisation has fulfilled all the necessary requirements, but yet still he is being given a runaround.

Ferguson said the motive behind the delays is to undermine the organisation and subsequently take away its operational powers.

According to Ferguson his organisation has fulfilled all the necessary requirements to obtain a licence but has still been denied.

“We did every single thing we’re supposed to do. The police came and checked our yard, the health people came and checked our yard, every person who supposed to check our yard said ‘all right you could get your licence’ but the Chaguanas Court telling us no.”

Ferguson said the scrap iron industry provides employment to many young people who experience difficulty in finding employment in other industries.

“We cannot allow two or one person to destroy an industry like this. The amount of persons we employ and the amount of persons eating out of this industry, persons who cannot get no ‘wuk’ no way, no way, they cannot get no ‘wuk’ no way, they does come and do something.”

He added, “And yuh talking about crime… the amount of persons getting work from this industry. No other person wants to work with them because their records are nasty. We still want to work with them and help them and talk to them and you want to destroy this?”

Guardian Media reached out to the Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon who told us that the power to grant a licence is not under the government, it is the remit of the local magistrate court.

However, the Trade Minister said her ministry has had discussions with the association in an attempt to clarify the process and help facilitate the Scrap Iron Dealers Association.

Minister Gopee-Scoon assured that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is committed to working with the association.

Source Guardian

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