Public Services Association (PSA) president Watson Duke has issued an ultimatum to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to see that the funds of the Drugs Sou Sou are released by the end of the month.
“Or else,” he said.
The matter is being investigated by the police.
Duke yesterday met with the Drugs Sou Sou (DSS) administrator Kerron Clarke and openly endorsed the DSS during a news briefing at the union’s head office in Port-of-Spain.
Clarke was at the briefing but did not make a public statement.
Duke admitted that he called Clarke to try and alleviate the financial burden felt by PSA members who are unable to pay their bills.
“They have our money saying they are investigating the money taking fingerprints. We are saying, Prime Minister, we are giving you an ultimatum and that ultimatum is going to come from the 1st of December we are hoping by month-end the money will be back in the hands of DSS so our members can get there for Christmas,” he said.
Duke said his membership records showed that at least 200 PSA members had invested in the DSS.
He feels a more accurate tally of PSA investors will be in the thousands.
“Well understand, Mr Clarke is making new friends and we understand what is going on and the PSA will stand in defence of workers’ money and Tobagonians’ money. I want to put that right here—as long as workers are involved, I am in that struggle,” the PSA president noted.
He added, “I will mobilise the parish to get back the money.”
“I’m appealing to all the members of the PSA; all the members of NATUC including those daily-paid workers in URP (Unemployment Relief Programme), CEPEP (Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme), those persons working on the farm, in the cloth store downtown, those who have invested their money in DSS, come and let us know your concern,” Duke said.
Duke did not give an indication of what his further action will be.
Presidential candidate in the upcoming PSA elections, Nixon Callendar condemned Duke’s statement, saying the DSS held no merit within the union.