Former Sugar Workers Payout Info Under Wraps LK Hewlett Story Updated: September 29th 2015 at 4:20 pm
The Sugar Workers Restoration Fund Secretariat and Committee are not releasing information pertaining to how many persons have collected their cheques and how much of the $16mil has been paid out thus far. The Observer has tried unsuccessfully over a number of days to get the data from several officials who have all been uncooperative. Attempts to reach SWRF Secretariat Head Reginald George proved futile as messages went unreturned. Eventually The Observer was told by a clerk that George said any inquiries from the media should go to the SWRF Committee’s Public Relations Officer, Clecton Phillip. On Wednesday (Sept 30) the Observer spoke with Phillip, who is the Press Secretary to the Prime Minister. He said the information this publication is seeking will likely be released to the public at the end of this week. The SWRF on September 18 began making gratuitous payments to former SSMC workers and their beneficiaries in the case of deceased persons. On that day more than 350 persons collected cheques that totaled upward of $1.3 million EC. Since then a large number of persons who applied to the Fund turned up to the Secretariat to see if they were among the 2311 persons whom the government said qualified to receive monies. The public has however, been clamoring for accountability and transparency regarding the payout. One of the most prevalent questions has been if all of the $16mil grant from the Venezuelan government will be paid out to the ex sugar industry workers.