Published 17 January 2018
Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source
Dr. Drew slams Amory, Collins for allowing employees to return to high carbon dioxide Labour Department
Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 17, 2018 – Medical internist, Dr. Terrance Drew slammed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Ron Collins and Minister of Labour, Vance Amory for demanding employees of the Department of Labour, some of whom have been on sick leave for months, to return to work thus ignoring a report from the Standards of Bureau, which deemed the environment they are working in unsatisfactory.
Dr. Drew said the Bureau of Standards conducted a series of tests in the building which was recently renovated with the cost running into millions of dollars.
“The Bureau of Standards carried out an air quality test and tested for mold. The testing revealed that there is a high carbon dioxide content in that environment and the building is not conducive for human occupation,” said Dr. Drew, who noted that the employees were then asked to go home at the time.
Subsequently to avoid political fallout, Permanent Secretary Collins instructed the employees to return to work in the contaminated building.
“This is a violation of the rights of the workers. The Labour Department is there to protect workers, but instead it is violating the rights of the employees,” said Dr. Drew, caretaker of St. Christopher 8 for the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) during Wednesday’s edition of Issues.
He called upon the workers to defy the return to work order of Mr. Collins, who was one of the ring leaders of the BHS protest in the face of local, regional and international findings that the buildings be reoccupied following completion of the recommendations.
“I encourage all the workers to stand up for your rights and I encourage you not to return to work until corrective measures recommended by the Bureau of Standards are completed and the all clear given that the environment is safe for the building to be occupied,” said Dr. Drew.
He accused Collins, Minister of Labour Vance Amory and the Team Unity Government of playing politics with the health of the employees in the Department of Labour and the National Drug Council, located on the upper floors of the Treasury Building.
Photo 1 – Labour Department and National Drug Council located on the upper floors of this newly renovated building which also houses the Treasury
Photo 2 – Dr. Terrance Drew