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Is dis another RIP off ?


St Vincent Shipyard Ltd (SSL), de new owners who replaced de Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard, is having some serious wages problems. Ah remember de big question mark dat surfaced when de name SSL, along wid de names and nationality of members associated wid de company were disclosed.

Mek it worse when it was also disclosed dat de company’s monthly rent was US$5,000, everybody cry-out foh corrupt-shun, another Go-venom-mint sell-out. When yuh think of it, SSL’s rent was exactly half ah what Ann Joshua was paying foh Cobblestone Hotel, and National Properties was asking Ann to vacate de premises.{{more}} Even de blind could see dat dey wanted to kick Ann out foh someone else. De Mighty Sheller was right 40 years ago when he sang his calypso “Big Jobs,” when he said “Ah say it once and ah will say it twice, St Vincent is foreigner’s paradise!”

Now according SSL workers, all 34 workers have been on half pay salaries foh months. Now where was de Union and de Labour Office in all ah dis? In de case of one particular worker Steve Olliverre, de company owes him $36,000. De straw dat broke de camel’s back was when Olliverre’s pay cheque foh $1,000 was bounced. Workers are laying some serious allegations dat monies foh NIS, PAYE, deductions foh loans at de Bank were taken from dey salaries, but not being paid into de relevant institutions. Lie-Za wants to know what de heck is going in wid these far-rain companies. Only a couple months ago, another far-rain-yah, David Ames de big man at Buccama Resorts, had to slip out ah de country owing Go-venom-mint over seven million dollars in revenue, NIS, PAYE deducted from workers pay. Dis is de same ULP Add-mini-stray-shun dat had promise “transparency in Go-venom-mint, tough on Crime!” We were told dat James Mitchell and Randolph Two-cents (den prime minister and commissioner of police respectively) were responsible foh de corrupt-shun, escalation of crime and drugs in de country, and only ah ULP add-mini-stray-shun led by Doc Gone-soft could fix dat. Indeed it is fixed. Last year’s homicide figures was 22 per 100, 000 dis year in jump to 33 which is ah fifty per cent increase, and de year ain’t done yet.

Now when de 34 wukers at de Ottley Hall Marina decided to stand-up foh what is lawfully theirs, Mr Ravotti, de Company’s manager decided to shut down de plant foh ah month ending on December 22, two days before Christmas. We are told dat Union boss Noel Jackson whose name continues to be associated wid de Carol “Sing Me Noel” was brought into de discussion and seemed to have brokered ah deal, unbelievably, de wukers have returned to work, widout salaries, hopefully all outstanding salaries will be paid by de end of November. Lie-Za, my queen of miss-shift is not hopeful at all, she feels dat come December 22, if not before, place close, management gone home foh Christmas. Let’s hope she is wrong. Be reminded dat dis is ah Labour Go-venom-mint.


Ah was touched by ah statement made by Celia Baptiste de mother of eighteen year ole, Jurani Baptiste, de young man being held by police for questioning in de murder of four persons. Celia said dat when Jurani was seven months old, his dad walked away from de family. Yes Jurani developed serious mental problems, and maybe, just maybe, if he was held at de Mental Hell’t Centre foh ah while longer, things might have been different. But den again, our Mental Hell’t Centre needs ah hell’t cheque, so does de Lewis Punnett Home foh senior citizens. Someone had said “judge ah country by de way it treats its ole people and mentally ill. Lie-Za say yuh judge SVG by de way dey treat everybody who does not fly de Red Flag.

Like so many other delinquent Far-Dahs, Jurani was denied ah far-dah’s love. Ah good far-dah is always there, ah bad far-dah is never there, he could be in de house but still not there. Exception for far-dahs dat have to be away from home, wuking abroad; even dat does not always wuk out. But near or far, we must be there; when things are rough in de home, economically, dey’s no greater comfort and assurance dan when Daddy is there to hug and tumble wid our children. Celia Baptiste feels guilty of having failed her son, but she should not! It takes ah man and ah woman to mek ah child, and de two must be dey all along foh dat child, ah don’t want to hear no foolishness bout village to raise ah child. Far-dah’s have ah responsibility to dey children, yes de Family Court must apply de law more forcefully. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.