Members of the Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association staged a protest outside the home of Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinananon Monday.
In their first protest since last month, a group of about a dozen scrap iron dealers arrived in North Valsayn with placards in hand.
“We intend for the next month, to go to all the ministers’ properties or the house they are living in,” association president Allan Ferguson said.
He added, “Information coming to us is that Rohan Sinanan is the one who lobbied the Cabinet to close down our industry. So, we come to his doorstep now to ask him to help us because mothers have been suffering and sisters and all types of people in this industry are suffering because of this industry shutdown. “
Ferguson said the dealers and workers cannot ride out the current ban on export.
“We cannot take six months, it’s already been two months and we are saying please open it back up this month. If y’all want to hold the copper, but open back the scrap part of the industry, where all of us could still do something for Christmas and our members could still be able to pay the bills and we could still be able to function as an industry.”
Ferguson said they submitted a letter to the Prime Minister two weeks ago and nothing had been done to assist the many on the breadline.
“We decided to hold up for two weeks because we was waiting on the Government response. Up to today, not one response and as the recognised body in the industry, not been one meeting with us so far. So, we say Mr Prime Minister, I want to say this to you and I want to send you a message, you see what happened in Tobago. You are from Tobago and you see what they do. I am saying what is going on in Trinidad, a lot of people don’t like what’s going on in Trinidad and you are the one that could make this change. And I’m asking you today to look at poor people suffering because of the decision of your Government,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson noted, however, that the Prime Minister responded last Friday by letter saying he did not have time to meet with the association. He said yesterday’s action was just the start of many he and his members will take.
—Reporting by Otto Carrington.