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Some private sector employees forced to work during Dorian – Hon Fraser

- Hon Fahie vows to hunt down guilty companies who broke state curfew
Third District Representative of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Julian Fraser (RA) has lashed out at some sections of the Private sector for 'forcing' employees to work even as Hurricane Dorian was forecasted to make landfall on sections on the territory last Wednesday, August 28, 2019. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in expressing shock at the announcement said it was the first time he was hearing about the issue as it was being raised in the House. The Premier promised with the NEOC on what exactly transpired. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in expressing shock at the announcement said it was the first time he was hearing about the issue as it was being raised in the House. The Premier promised with the NEOC on what exactly transpired. Photo: VINO
Hurricane Dorian passed the Virgin Islands as a Category 1 storm and caused flooding in the outskirts of Road Town, including in Port Purcell. Photo: Team of Reporters
Hurricane Dorian passed the Virgin Islands as a Category 1 storm and caused flooding in the outskirts of Road Town, including in Port Purcell. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Third District Representative in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) Hon Julian Fraser (RA) has lashed out at some sections of the Private Sector for 'forcing' employees to work even as Hurricane Dorian was forecasted to make landfall on sections on the territory last Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Speaking at the continuation of the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands today, September 2, 2019, Hon Fraser said even after issuance was given of a curfew, private employees were still being asked by their employees to report to duty.

NOEC was Notified - Hon Fraser 

“Long after the Government had announced that the Civil Servants were not to report to work, except for essential workers and even after there was the talk of a curfew to be issued, in the private sector, employees were being asked to come to work and threatened,” Hon Fraser told the House. 

He said the information was conveyed to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NOEC) which then made contact with some of the employers and their response from said employers wasn’t favourable. The  NOEC was activated to monitor conditions of the storm and keep the public updated throughout the passage of Hurricane Dorian.

“It's incumbent upon us as legislatures to ensure, even before we saw what took place with Irma, to ensure that we don’t put our citizens at risk," Hon Fraser said.

He further pointed out that long before the passage of the hurricane, the territory knew of the consequences and the dangers that could come and hence, the actions of private employees were irresponsible. 

The Third District Legislator called for the legislation on curfew and impending disasters to be clear and concise regarding such matters.

He said the current Minister, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), should have intervened into the situation, “I don’t know… but I am not taking this lightly, and I don’t expect any of the thirteen of us to do that either,” Hon Fraser said.

Premier surprised 

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in expressing shock at the announcement said it was the first time he was hearing about the issue as it was being raised in the House. The Premier promised to check with the NEOC on what exactly transpired.

"You are correct, you can't replace a life and when the state announced that everyone is to be off the road, everyone is to be off the road whether its private or whether its public," Hon Fahie said.

"It shivers me when I hear you say... to know that they were employers who would be so, not only callous but distasteful... to have their employees out even though the territory has announced a curfew."

Premier Fahie reassured his commitment to hunting down the companies involved and said his administration will make a statement that is clear and precise regarding the future enforcement of curfews.

12 Responses to “Some private sector employees forced to work during Dorian – Hon Fraser”

  • lost (02/09/2019, 19:23) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    What private sector company had their workers in on that day? y’all can’t be serious....things that desperate in the private sector???
    • miss (02/09/2019, 20:19) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
      Tri**ent
    • Hmmm (02/09/2019, 20:25) Like (5) Dislike (20) Reply
      THe Governor issued the statement after emplouees were already at work
      • Hmmm (02/09/2019, 20:42) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
        That’s a lie.......
        • Too true (03/09/2019, 06:01) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
          The statement was made just after 11:00 am that the curfew would begin at 2:00 pm
      • Observer (02/09/2019, 20:51) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
        I am curious, so the workers at these companies are at work at 7:40? Because that’s when my employer told us not to come into work because the Governor said stay off the roads???
  • qc (02/09/2019, 20:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    call names Fraser
  • True to Form (02/09/2019, 22:38) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    There are some employers who up to 10: am did not want their workers to leave. Some of these workers have to catch ride in the storm to try and make it home. At the same time we are saying we are a godly people.
  • others (03/09/2019, 07:11) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    There are others. The one where I work intentionally did not announce do not come in but when management realized that the weather took a turn for the worse they announced on WhatsApp that whoever is in the office should leave now. Not acceptable as that’s endangering lives to now risk the dangerous roads to return home.
  • na***** (03/09/2019, 08:52) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply

    NA**** was one. Wickedness

  • biker (03/09/2019, 09:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The timing of the curfew commencing at 2Pm was a poor decision. Either announce a curfew before 8Am or after 5Pm so day workers know whether to travel to work or stay home. Nobody wants to be 'trapped' at their work place for the night.
  • um (03/09/2019, 09:57) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Some private companies need staff in for loss mitigation. Whilst I totally agree you don’t need the whole island driving around there has to be some allowance. What you need is everyone in safe shelter be it at work or home by a set time - so by 1 on that particular day and then all clear for those that need to get home or essential workers as soon as it clears - which was about 5pm for this particular storm. However any staff at work should either be part of job description or voluntary. .


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