Following an incident involving a Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) worker being slapped in the face by a store owner on Friday evening, Public Relations Officer of the SSA Carl ‘Alf’ Padmore is warning members of the public to desist from verbally and physically abusing the public servants.
Padmore told Barbados TODAY that just after 6:30 p.m., the SSA employee was working with a truck to remove garbage from Bridgetown when the worker was assaulted by the alleged owner of an establishment on Bridge Street, The City.
“Based on my understanding the cone was in the road, the SSA worker shifted the cone to do his work. The owner came out, took up the cone and slapped the worker and then proceeded to hit him in the face with his hand,” Padmore said.
“The supervisor responded, management was informed and the Police are investigating the matter as I speak to you. This behaviour will not be tolerated at all and we intend to pursue this to the fullest.
“And this is not the first time that our guys have been either verbally or physically assaulted by store owners,” he added.
The Public Relations Officer said that while the employee reported the matter to the Barbados Police Service, the management of the SSA is extremely concerned about the danger the workers face on a daily basis and is appealing to members of the public to be respectful to the persons tasked with the responsibility to keep the streets garbage free.
“This is very concerning for us because as we get into the yuletide season, you will find that store owners start to get edgy. One, they [storeowners] will dispose of lots of boxes that they will not collapse, which they are supposed to do. You will find that they will have their vehicles parked in front of the stores, often setting the vehicles next to the garbage, which makes it difficult.
“We appreciate that they have to make sales, but also, if we don’t remove the garbage we are going to have another problem, so there must be cooperation on both ends. We have been speaking to our guys, we know that our guys sometimes can get a little impatient as well,” he said.
Padmore reminded that according to the law, it is required that garbage is collected from The City six days per week, with the expectation that the major commercial area is to remain clean at all times.
However, he said SSA workers in their effort to collect the garbage often face a situation where some store owners and employees make it difficult for them to execute their duties.
Barbados TODAY’s efforts to contact Police Public Relations Officer, Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss for a comment on the matter proved futile. (AH)