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|Amerindian sawmill worker injured on the job : …evicted from logie provided by employer, offered no assistance|
|Tuesday, 27 November 2012 20:17|
A 25-year-old Amerindian sawmill labourer, stricken on hospital bed for about two weeks after his left leg was fractured on the job, had a shocking and inhumane experience with his employer, after being discharged from the Georgetown Public Hospital a few days ago.
Not only was the victim, Davenand Williams, relieved of his job without compensation, but on Monday, he and his family of three were literally and violently ‘kicked out’ of a logie the employer had provided for them when Williams was given the job.
Williams, who hailed from Moruca, Region 1, worked at the saw mill at Hobo Backdam, Parika, strapping and loosing greenheart piles being offloaded from the pontoon by a skidder. One day the strapper snapped and one of the piles fell on the employee’s left foot, breaking it in two places.
The employer, whose name was given as Mukesh Kissoon, told the injured man that he and his family would have to vacate the premises. This likely, was to make way for another labourer who would replace Williams.
The couple, with nowhere to go, pleaded with the employer to allow them to stay until they could find somewhere, but he was rude and would not give them a hearing.
After the employer insisted on Sunday that the family had to vacate his premises, Savitri approached the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs early Monday and related their predicament. Officials at the Ministry telephoned Kissoon and raised their concerns. This development incurred the wrath of the employer who, according to the couple, in a fit of temper, stormed down to the logie, kicked open the door and demanded that they leave immediately.
When Kissoon arrived at the house, the sick man, Williams was lying behind the door, and the violent kick the employer gave the door, sent it crashing into the injured man who suffered excruciating pain. They claimed Kissoon kept their belongings behind and using threatening language and behaviour, demanded the couple and their children out of the house. They left empty-handed, and reported the matter to the Parika Police.
Before leaving the police station, the couple broke down and wept bitterly. There was nowhere for them to go. They even begged the police to allow them to sit on a bench, but that was not possible. They begged the security guard at the Parika Health Centre for them to sleep in the compound until daybreak; he too did not have that authority. Finally, still limping with his crutches and writhing in pain, they went to the Transport and Harbours’ Department wharf and asked permission to spend the night, but they were again refused.
By then it was well past 20:00 hrs, and tired and hungry, with no money or anything to eat, they rested in a corner on the roadside where they spent the remainder of the night. All they had was one pillow, which Davenand used to keep his injured leg propped up.
When the sun came up, and they realized they had to leave to allow the roadside vendors to take up their vending spots, the family, with money given to them by one of the compassionate police ranks at the station, boarded a minibus and travelled to Georgetown where they returned to the hospital to get Davenand Williams’ plaster-of-paris cast removed, and his leg X-rayed once more.
On arriving in Georgetown, they again contacted the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, where officials listened o their complaints, placed the sick and tired man in a bed, and began putting systems in place for their woes to be addressed.
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