Vendor wants compensation for his $2,000 stall
by Katherine Renton
For one vendor it has been over five weeks since his tables were thrown away, and having not received compensation, instead of doing business on the streets, he is close to living on them.
When Albelto ‘I son’ ‘Yellow’ Charles, a vendor who sells at the Kingstown vegetable market, came to speak to SEARCHLIGHT, his new-found problem was that, he said, the Kingstown Town Board (KTB) had thrown away his tables.
These tables, which were valuable to him as he had welded them himself, and they were built to withstand the wind which he contends with where he is positioned, are apparently worth $2,000.
‘Yellow’ had been seeing red as he had heard that his tables, fashioned with care, were at the Diamond Land fill, but when he went to retrieve them, there was nothing there.
Now, over five weeks later, he has still not received compensation for the tables and he has no water where he is living. He was also greeted with the news that his daughter’s cancer had relapsed at the same time, and medical bills must be paid.
“I’m kinda out of a job now, and it’s very, very frustrating to me now, because is I, I have a lot of Bills and ting to pay nuh. I have to meet like my mortgage. I recently borrow some money from the Teachers’ Cooperative Credit Union (TCCU) to invest in my business, and now I can’t even operate my business now to pay back the loan,” he says.
The incident which started Charles’ misfortunes occurred when he paid ‘a guy’ to carry in his tables one weekend, as the policy is that one must take one’s tables inside the market on Saturday afternoons.
The vendor says he was complying with this policy, and claims that while ‘the guy’ was moving the stuff, he was attacked by a security guard with a pigfoot, his possessions taken away and thrown into a truck and taken away.
Charles says that this security guard had repeatedly threatened to throw away his stuff.
He said the workers from the KTB who collect money from the vendors were told not to pick up money from him, because where he operates is not a designated area.
One of KTB’s security guards spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, and he contends that this is not the truth.
“I wouldn’t lie on the Kingstown Town Board, and I wouldn’t lie for Kingstown Town Board,” the security guard, who is called Niku Foster, said.
“He (Charles) don’t pay for no stall in market, he used to pay in the early days and he stop pay, and that is more than six years now,” Foster stated, saying that the vendor owes the KTB thousands of dollars.
Foster, in his version, noted that Charles said he had paid someone $6 to remove the table and the person did not.
“…If your table leave back dey and the truck men coming, what they go do? Not throw wey your ting?”
He said that the people who drive the truck are not from KTB.
In a visit to the market recently, SEARCHLIGHT found out that it was not only Charles’ tables that were taken away. A female vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, disclosed that she used to argue with the vendor next to her, but this vendor is not operating because her tables were thrown away..
When asked if tables were thrown away, vendor Dianne Wyllie said, “Yeah but you can’t vex with them because every Saturday they mek it their (KTB) business and send the workers to tell you to move the table, because sometimes when you come in town on Sunday the place look real nasty.”
“If they miss they table they got to blame theyself because they give you a flyer every Saturday to move your belongings,” she stated.
She also added, “this time they serious with them, because when they come Monday morning there is nothing, I don’t know where they go to, but there was nothing.”
Another vendor who wished to remain anonymous said, “You see most of the vendors in the market they don’t care, all they concern about is that they come and they sell, and they make they money and they go. They don’t concern how the town look, they don’t concern what they do, all they concern is to make the dollar and go. Not everybody, but the majority of them.”