Police arrest 7 scrap-iron workers at night protest

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

These men protest the ban on scrap iron exports at Southern Main Road, Claxton Bay on Tuesday. Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Southern Division Task Force police arrested seven scrap-iron workers after a protest on Thursday night in Claxton Bay.

Earlier that day, a group of men from the industry blocked Temple Street with branches and old scrap iron to express frustration over the recently implemented six-month ban on the export of scrap iron.

The workers threatened more action if their calls for government to rethink the ban are ignored. They also condemned the Opposition and scrap-iron dealers for doing nothing to prevent the ban.

In a release on Friday afternoon, police said they were alerted to another protest involving scrap-iron dealers and workers at Cedar Hill Road, Claxton Bay between 8 pm and midnight.

They arrested seven men between 20 and 41, all from the Claxton Bay area, for disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest.

Several other people at the protest escaped.

President of the Scrap Iron Dealers Association Allan Ferguson is now calling on those in the industry to stand down and take the correct route to demonstrate their dissatisfaction.

In a phone interview with Newsday on Friday, Ferguson said, “I am aware of the arrests, and we hope good sense prevail. We will do what we can do through legal counsel to see what the association can do.

“We spoke to them and told them we understand people are angry that they are now out of work and can’t feed their family.

“We understand all of that. But we are working hard to get a meeting with the authorities, and we hope our rally planned for next Wednesday will make a difference.

“We want to send a strong message. We are doing our best and seeking all the necessary advice.”