BITU cautions against generalizing Dunn’s River Workers as corrupt

by Bustamante Industrial Trade Union

BITU cautions against generalizing Dunn’s River Workers as corrupt

The Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) has rejected generalized allegations of Corruption amongst Dunn’s River Workers.

Vice President of the BITU, Rudolph Thomas advised that the Union has already communicated the upset and rancor which currently exists among workers at Dunn’s River Falls and Park to Senator Ransford Braham, the Chairman of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC). He stated that the Union has demanded discussions to provide clarification of certain aspects of the Audit Report and to identify immediate steps to ensure that the good name and repute of the general staff can be restored.

Mr. Thomas said, “This situation has arisen from a news report broadcasted yesterday, which impugned that there were several acts of ‘corruption’ as findings coming out of an audit, which was commissioned by the UDC in August 2018 amid allegations of crookedness at Dunn's River Falls and Park. This was reportedly based on numerous discrepancies observed in the attraction’s financials”.

“The news report was explicit in suggesting that workers have been selling water shoes for themselves and have been conducting themselves dishonestly in the collection of admission fees, pocketing the difference between fees collected from nationals vs visitors and between rates paid by adults vs children. Even if there were instances of this type of action, it is irresponsible to present same as a generalization of Dunn’s River workers and more so reprehensible for it to have been done in the public, without certain facts being shared” said Mr. Thomas.

The Vice President added “We want to be abundantly clear, that the BITU and its Delegates/Worker Representatives are not supportive of any person or persons identified as being involved in wrongdoings and where any such action has been confirmed, the appropriate action should be taken without fail”.

“We are aware that recently, there were calls for the results of the Audit to be made public, but we are not supportive of how these results have been cascaded to the public. As a result, the workers who are known to be employed to the entity or whose uniform identifies them as such, are being targeted and treated as common thieves as they go about their lives and as they try to commute to work. This extends beyond the workers themselves, to include public perception of their families and their children” Mr. Thomas said.

He indicated that “As far as we are aware, the entities’ management has displayed a willingness to meet today at 4:00 pm and we hope these matters can be addressed so that normalcy can return to the minds of the work force”.

Amid allegations of possible misappropriation of funds at Dunn's River Falls and Park the UDC commissioned an Audit in August 2018. This was reportedly based on numerous discrepancies observed in the attraction’s financials. As a result, the police Fraud Squad, Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, and the Office of the Auditor General were among the entities probing the case, with the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) confirming it had received the independent audit report and had submitted same at an emergency meeting on Friday, December 21, 2018.