(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – There has been “ an invasion” by South Americas, Africans, Chinese and CARICOM citizens into Trinidad and Tobago, flooding the job market.
So said UNC senator Wade Mark as he piloted a motion on unemployment in the Senate on Tuesday.
He said about 50,000 to 60,000 people lost jobs under the Government, yet the Government was saying that it would issue ID cards to Venezuelans. (These cards would allow people to work for one year in T&T).
“We have no problem with people coming to our country. But it must be orderly, regulated and controlled. So we have people competing with nationals for jobs and it is not regulated. We need a migrant labour policy and we need the government to establish legislation to deal with this issue. So Madame President, we have a lot of challenges.
We have the South American invasion, we have the invasion from Africa, we have invasion from CARICOM and we have the Chinese invasion. So we have four sets of invasions taking place on our country,” Mark said.
Senate President asked Mark to “refine his commentary”.
Mark said “unregulated persons” were coming from those parts of the world and there was no control on the inflows of those individuals. “And they are competing and replacing locals in terms of job opportunities”, he said.
He said he had “nothing against” Chinese, South Americans, nothing against Africans “cause they say I come from there too”. He said all he was calling for was a regulation.
Mark said things were so bad on the job market that “medical doctors who now selling chicken and chips” and pumping gas, while dentists were underemployed, secondary school leavers could not find jobs.
“Imagine you have a son or daughter and we invest in them and send them to university and they come out as doctors and they have to sell chicken and chips and sell gas in a gas station because the government has not jobs for them? That is a crime against humanity, ” he said. He said Government was “brutalising,
oppressing, attacking those workers who remain in the labour force”. He said these workers were being taxed and their quality of life declining daily. He said 40 per cent of the workforce was making $15 a hour.
In a clear reference to the rental of property owned by the Attorney General Faris Al Rawi’s and his spouse to the Ministry of Public Administration, Mark said he wanted to get into the rental property business.
“I want to rent property to the Government and I want to end up with $23 million within three years and when I add my family to it, I will end up with $43 million in three years. I think that is good business,” he said.
He said while the big companies and the banks were benefitted , the majority of the government was struggling to make ends meet under this tone deaf government.
Mark said he wanted to tell the population that there was hope and that the UNC will bring economic transformation when it assumes office.
“I want to tell this Government: Time longer than twine . You could run, as (the late Ken) Valley may his soul rest in peace, said, but yuh can’t hide”.