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Lockout angers fish vendors


SDB MEDIA

Lockout angers fish vendors

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Some vendors at the Bridgetown Fish Market were left out to sea after an inspector closed the stalls on Friday.

While this was not the first time that stalls have been closed at the complex, several fish vendors cried frustration because of undue harassment by officials.

They said they were at their boiling point and demanded that Minister of Maritime Affairs Kirk Humphrey, under whose purview that market fell, step in and deal with the matter.

When a NATION team visited the market on Friday morning, a group of workers had gathered away from the stalls because, according to them, there was nothing for them to do.

Vendor Sandra Hinds, who employs eight workers, said when she arrived at minutes to 7 a.m. she was met by a sign stating that hers and other stalls were closed. The frustrated woman said they were instructed that the stalls had to be power-washed before use and a water compressor was placed at their disposals.

She maintained this was the responsibility of the Government general workers employed at the market, adding it was unfair to task fish vendors with this duty. Hinds was infuriated that the practice of closing the stalls “because the general workers ain’t doing them job” was occurring too often.

“This is my bread and butter. The inspector . . . when she asked the general workers to clean the stalls, they say they ain’t doing none.

“We ain’t supposed to handle the power machine because it is the Government’s own . . . . Last week we clean the whole of in here. None of the general workers ain’t come and it is only we do it and she putting pressure on we all the time,” Hinds said, as she maintained the inconveniences had caused her to lose “a lot of money”.

Several other vendors, who did not want their pictures taken or names recorded, were also very vocal on the closing of the market.

“You cannot clean in here with plain water. Understand you using fish everyday, seven days a week . . . . Them is the things that [officials] need to look into.

When contacted, quality control officer at the market, Michelle Wiggins, refused to speak on the matter, stating: “I cannot speak to any matter regarding markets division”. She referred this newspaper to manager of markets Sherlock King but he could not be reached for a comment. (SDB Media)

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