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Tobago businesses to shutdown in protest

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tobago stakeholders have voted in favour of a motion by president of the Inter-Island Truckers Association Horace Amede for a two day shutdown of businesses on the island to protest ongoing problems with the air and seabridge.

The motion, which is yet to get the blessings of the Tobago Chamber, was tabled during a meeting at Rovanel’s Resort on Sunday evening called to discuss problems which have been affecting the island since last April.

Several people at the meeting complained about the virtual collapse of the seabridge which they blamed for empty hotel rooms, declines in revenue and other losses.

Sylvan Rollocks, owner of Rovanel Resort, said he had to lay off 18 of his 38 workers because of zero occupancy levels at the 62-room hotel. He said problems with the water supply had made the situation worse.

Business owner Shirley Cooke declared: “The inter-island transport system could not have been handled any worse. A five year old child could have handled it better.”

When Amede moved the motion it was welcomed from the floor and seconded by businessman Ian Pollard. Chant ofs “shut it down” filled the room.

Moderator of the meeting Dr Winford James called for a show of hands and the vote was carried. He later told the T&T Guardian he supported the motion.

Recalling the mood at the meeting, he said: “While people understood the further discomfort that they would face with the shutdown they also realised they could do worse and it is only for two days.”

Details of the planned shutdown are still to be worked out.

Chairman of the Tobago Chamber Demi John Cruickshank said the group will discuss the shutdown in more detail when it meets on March 19.


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