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May 8, 2020

John Briceño Says G.O.B. Disrespected Union; Needs to Cut Fat

John Briceño

Following the PM’s press conference, the Leader of the Opposition John Briceño made comments on the dismal state of affairs.  While all are expected to make sacrifices, given the economic crunch caused by COVID-19, Briceño says there are many areas, other than salaries, where the government can apply cost-saving measures. The exercise entails looking at the books with a fine tooth comb. Briceño proposes cutting down the budget of those ministries that produce little or next to nothing and reducing the number of contract workers, going beyond cutting their salaries and benefits.  


John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“The unions are not necessary against doing any sacrifice, but I think what has made this into a crisis is the way the government responded to the unions. They basically gave them a very disrespectful letter and obviously then, any other person would have a push back. As to what I understand that the union is saying, okay, you want to do these cuts or not giving us our increments this year, but let’s sit down and talk and see where we can save even more money from government. There is this issue of a lot of contract workers and it is suspected that a lot of these people have cushy jobs because they support the U.D.P.  There are a lot of ministries, the first one that comes to mind is the Ministry of Housing, where when you look at the budget—I think the last one was about eight million dollars, but yet they are not building any houses.  So why is it that they are getting this kind of money? And you can go from ministry to ministry to see where you can do some meaningful cuts that can be able to try to start to put us on a sustainable path. The union workers, the P.S.U. recognises that there has to be some kind of sacrifice. But they are saying let’s sit down around the table, look at all of what the government is doing, all the expenses and see where else we can do some more cost-saving measures. I don’t think that’s unreasonable on the part of the P.S.U.”

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