PSA president: Government ‘peddling hate’ against WASA workers

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

PSA president Leroy Baptiste. – File photo

PUBLIC Services Association (PSA) president Leroy Baptiste is standing in staunch defense of WASA workers whom he feels are being implicated in acts of vandalism against the authority.

He also accused government of “peddling hate” against WASA workers in order to set the groundwork for public acceptance when workers are sent home – just as they did with Petrotrin – as a result of the transformation of the authority.

At a news conference on Friday, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds in making a case out for the banning of scrap metals export, alluded to perpetrators having a working knowledge of the state assets that have been vandalised.

Hinds spoke of malicious damage and the industrial climate at WASA in the same sentence, alluding to certain intelligence gathered to draw a conclusion between the two.

“I stand in full defense of WASA workers. I have no such information that WASA workers are trying to destroy its installations. That is nonsensical,” Baptiste told Sunday Newsday.

“All along when cables were being stolen, the scrap iron dealership was being blamed. Suddenly, because you are trying to fire WASA workers, somebody else gets blamed – the TSTT workers, the WASA workers.”

He accused government of putting a “spin” as it expects workers facing the breadline to retaliate.

“The Government is peddling hate, envy, covetousness as its formula to control people and to control public sentiments.

“This is unfortunate because they have done something to make workers unhappy and want to justify their conspiracy theory against WASA workers and their families.

“What he is implying is straightforward continuation of the demonisation of WASA workers.

“They are the ones who said they are going to restructure and send WASA workers home, starting with 426 managers.”

What is amazing, Baptiste said, is that when something good happens, Government takes credit, but when something goes wrong, “Nobody must say Government must go.”

He said if wrong is being perpetrated then the police must do their job and solve the crime.

Hinds said there are some in TT who prefer to maintain the status quo because they benefit directly and that government is not unmindful that in their resistance and adherence of good order and efficiency and no corruption in that state entity, there is push back.

He said some of that push back is evident in the disruption of the free flow of traffic on the road or disrupting systems that distribute water and electricity.

He said some might use these opportunities, “To trade more sinister motives against the State for their own limited, perhaps selfish, perhaps even political purpose.

These matters, he pledged, will be treated as matters of national security.”