Leader of the Movement For Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah is demanding that restaurant management giant Prestige Holdings Ltd (PHL), which operates the KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Fridays, Subway, and Starbucks brands in Trinidad and Tobago, and other Caribbean islands, pay their workers over the next three weeks during the second lockdown imposed by the Government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Abdulah told members of the media during a news conference yesterday at its head office in San Fernando, they were speaking on behalf of the tens of thousands of workers who are now out of work for three weeks or maybe longer.
He said, “Those large franchise holders of restaurant chains, and fast food chains are in a position to assist their workers for the next three weeks, and ought to pay those workers for the next three weeks. We are demanding that the Prestige Holdings chain…KFC and so on, that those workers get paid for the next three weeks.”
Abdulah stressed the company, PHL, should pay its workers because they had enough to carry them through.
He said he was more concerned with small businesses that are unable to pay workers’ salaries while trying to manage costly overheads.
“While the Government’s financial situation is not good, the Government has to find a way to assist these workers again. You can’t just throw them in the bamboo, and say, fend for yourself. That is not good enough,” Abdulah said.
Living pay cheque
to pay cheque
Abdulah said many people in this country lived pay cheque to pay cheque, and, as such, more needs to be done by the Government.
“We cannot leave our citizens to drown in their economic suffering,” he said.
Abdulah also wondered about the Government’s roadmap to recovery plan.
“There has been a deafening silence about that roadmap to recovery plan.”
“Where is it?”
“What is happening with it?”
Abdulah said, “From June last year when it was supposed to be completed to now, which is 11 months – things should have been happening in those 11 months to ensure there is sufficient economic growth and activity was taking place in the economy that would have put Government’s revenue in a better position; put our foreign exchange in a better position, created employment, or income-earning opportunities in other sectors, so when the second lockdown came as it did, people would have been in a better position.”
“With little or no response by the Government for almost a year on its Roadmap to Recovery plan demonstrates how the Government has failed with respect to the economic recovery of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.