Pork lovers lined up for hours outside the San Fernando Market yesterday, after the lone pork vendor, Wayne Attong, said there will be no pork on sale for Christmas Eve.
Attong operates from the market and supplies pork to scores of people in the lead-up to Christmas Day.
Yesterday, however, he said since the chiller broke down at the market three months ago, his sales have been affected. He claimed that he had complained to the market authorities and officials of the San Fernando City Corporation about the problem but instead of fixing the chiller, he started facing victimisation.
“The market officials supposed to be here from 5 am and sometimes it is well after 8 am that they come here,” he claimed.
He also added that monies were being paid for a chiller that does not work.
“When I opened my mouth and talk out that is when the victimisation started,” Attong claimed. He explained that two weeks ago, some new rules were also instituted, barring him access to the pork shop.
Attong said he is now required to provide an inspection certificate from the pork supplier at Erin Farms, indicating that the meat is inspected and safe, before he can get access to the pork shop.
“Only when I supply that certificate can I access the room,” he said.
He noted that only when the truck arrives and supplies the meat can he start to work in the pork room.
Attong said he has been told that monies cannot be spent to fix the chiller because only one vendor is utilising it.
Saying he planned to give up selling pork, Attong said, “This will be the first time in 50 years there will be no pork in San Fernando on Christmas Eve.”
Attong said because there is no chiller he cannot stock meat, so he sells the pork based on orders.
The truck from Erin farms arrived at the market close to midday yesterday and by then over 40 customers were waiting.
One customer, Allison Dick, said she was disappointed at the situation.
“Since 10 o’clock I parked in a private car park and waiting for a piece of pork. The chiller break down three months now and they didn’t fix it yet,” she said.
The customers called on the market officials and the City Corporation to rectify the problem as soon as possible.
Efforts to contact San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello and chief executive officer Indarjit Singh were unsuccessful as calls to their phones went unanswered.