A rat infestation has forced the closure of the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) Department at Trinidad House, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
At a press conference on Monday, PSA president Watson Duke said the building will remain closed until Minister of Finance Colm Imbert intervenes.
“We are now calling on the Minister of Finance who have a lot of time on his hands, that he is joking about the life and health of workers, to make certain that workers of BIR and the Treasury Building are in a sound and healthy condition because the PSA intends to gather all the evidence against them and launch lawsuits in the name of these workers,” he explained.
Duke said the PSA has advised workers not to work within the building, and the PSA will be moving to the other BIR buildings which include Queen Street, the Financial Complex, South and Central.
Duke said the association was declaring zero tolerance where it comes to the health and safety of workers and workers have been advised to leave the building.
“The BIR, Trinidad House is now an empty building. All the BIR buildings that were once deemed unsafe we will be checking the buildings again to see whether they have complied fully with the law or not.
There will be zero tolerance when it comes to workers health and safety issues.” He added, “Both Express and Newsday published a full statement from OSA advising all employees that they have the right to refuse to work and a responsibility once the environment is deemed unsafe.” He said based on the evidence they have gathered, the BIR building at Trinidad House should not be occupied.
Duke said PSA received a letter from a member of staff at the BIR complaining of a rat infestation in the building.
“We recognised that there are several violations even where fire is a concern and we have asked for a fire certificate, but instead they provided us with nothing but paint, new ceiling, a better air condition system, and they promised us that they would have worked on the issues via a joint health and a safety committee management/PSA.”
He added, “We have had three or four meetings which bore no fruits and as a result, the management stopped all the meetings altogether and promised the employees of BIR will move into the new building earmarked in the Government complex.