While operations at the Mayaro-Rio Claro Regional Corporation have been temporarily shut down after an employee tested positive, drivers complained that they are still working at full capacity. Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday on the condition of anonymity, a driver said on a daily basis there are close to 40 workers in the transport section at any given time.

He complained, “The corporation shutdown. Is only the transport section coming out. More than half of the workers usually have nothing to do. We had a couple COVID cases at the corporation and there was no contact tracing. A couple people from the transport section was in the main building where one of the employee test positive and they have not been put in quarantine.”

The worker said there are approximately 29 drivers, eight loaders, the supervisor and checkers. In addition, he said the workshop, stores department and the Municipal police are also on the same compound.

“They shut down all construction and road works so all they doing now is the basic necessities. Why cant they have half the workers today and half tomorrow because no work is going on right now? The Prime Minister clearly stated that if employees are not needed let them work from home.”

He also claimed that they had to complain to the County Superintendent after they were ordered to work until 4 pm yesterday. After his intervention, he said, they are now working until 11 am.

Corporation chairman Raymond Cozier said the corporation has been closed since Monday and is expected to reopen next Monday. “The office is shut down, stores is shut because someone was in contact with a family member who tested positive, so they went for testing is awaiting results.”

He said another worker tested positive.

While Cozier agreed that all the workers didn’t need to report for work daily at the transport section, he said the decision lies with the chief executive officer.

“The drivers called me too this morning complaining about the situation. The truth is that the CEO is the person in charge of administration, I cannot give those instructions. I raised it with him this morning about the amount of workers that they have there that is congregating and it don’t have any work going on because the stores close so they cant issue the materials for drivers to move to and fro. I am hoping that he would take some action today on the matter because I don’t have the authority to instruct any worker.”

Cozier said the corporation has also shut down the use of recreational facilities while the Municipal police have been posted at the market to control the crowds and ensure adherence to the COVID-19 protocols.

He said a notice was also sent out to the vendors informing them that the market will be sanitised daily and they were required to leave the market at 4 pm and remove all produce and foodstuff.

A request to the CEO for a comment via WhatsApp went unanswered.