Dear Editor: SPORTT employees are working under inhumane conditions

EPL Infrafred Sauna

“This Company has been spinning top in mud since the investigation into the eight people—who were sent on administrative leave—began…

“Since [those suspensions] it is as if the heads currently running the Company do not give a damn about the staff!”

The following letter, which was copied to Sport Minister Darryl Smith and Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) chairman Dinanath Ramnarine, was submitted to Wired868 under cover of anonymity.

Photo: Prime Minister Keith Rowley (centre) greets SPORTT CEO Dinanath Ramnarine (left) while Sport Minister Darryl Smith (right) looks on during the opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba on 12 May 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Just about a year ago, the very patient and humble staff at the Sports Company (SPORTT) attended a staff meeting. At this meeting, we asked about the awarding of contracts for workers who were again put on month-to-month. We were told to be patient while the management and board attempted to regularise the organisational structure.

We were told that many of the people employed currently at the Company were in positions that were not approved by the CPO and that the HR Department was currently working to have that regularised. As such, those people would be given six-month contracts and the rest, who were approved, a one-year contract.

Much to the surprise of the current staff, we keep seeing new faces coming in every day—new positions are being created—and we are being told that these people have three-year contracts!

Can we be informed as to the true outcome of this, especially as many of our contracts end in the next few months?! And about the talk of a Sport Commission which is in the air?

Additionally, this Company has been spinning top in mud since the investigation into the eight people—who were sent on administrative leave—began. When this investigation is over, I hope the findings are made public and the guilty face the sanctions while the innocent ones are cleared!

Photo: SPORTT CEO Adam Montserin (centre) greets players and officials before kick-off between Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 March 2017.
TTFA vice-president Ewing Davis (right) broke away from the customary pre-game ritual to take a phone call.
(Copyright CAI Images/Wired868)

Since [those suspensions], it is as if the heads currently running the company do not give a damn about the staff! People have been placed in positions for which they are not qualified, new people keep coming in while we are hearing rumours here and there that the company is closing.

People who have worked hard are meeting numerous obstacles in getting their hard-earned overtime monies, people must fingerprint sign in and out, people are being put on tribunals for matters that could be resolved very easily…

Our main focus seems to be how many people are loitering in the lobby—so much so that a definition of loitering had to be given in an official memo! And then you wonder why legal cases pile up against the company?

Gentle Sirs, I write to you firstly requesting—then, failing that, demanding—that the management and Board hold a meeting with all the staff of the Sports Company and make it known to us what is the plan for us as a company and if we should begin looking for other jobs. The treatment that is being given to the staff of the company is near inhumane.

The staff of this Company feel that you—the Management, Board and Minister—want to run us away from this company and some have fallen for it! How many people have resigned in the last few months?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Sport Minister Darryl Smith (left) has a laugh with NAAA president Ephraim Serrette at the 2016 NAAA Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 25 June 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

But I say this here, that not all shall fall for it—some of us have come too far to turn back; and if we have to stay till the end, we will!

However, being honest to the hard-working employees is what we ask for more than anything. Honour us, cherish us, respect us!

I write this anonymously because, at the end of the day, I fear prosecution and to face the same unfair, one-sided biased tribunals. But I still keep hope that my genuine plea is heard and not lost in the ego of all these big heads.

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  1. Would the author be kind enough to clarify what is meant by “people must fingerprint sign in and out”?
    Is this a reference to the scanners they have that require fingerprint access to a building? Is it ink pad fingerprints in an attendance register? Or do they have a scanner that is connected at a database that would verify identity for the purpose of checking attendance? Just curious from a technology perspective, it has nothing to do with the situation described in the submission.

  2. These people are limited in their skills so they adopt an attitude of wearing masks to hide who they really are. They are changing every twenty four hours and their company’s expense account is what should be audited

  3. Sad….. seems nothing ever changes…

  4. Hmm is right. Like things went south after Phillips left

  5. Ridiculous….it’s months now since they started the audit and Mr Ramnarine gave orders to close the gates of the Ato Boldon Stadium where hundreds of families walked every morning and evening outside the Stadium. The perimeter of the Stadium has been used for years for people to walk and do some type of fitness activity but on his orders it was closed.
    So now it sits there like a white elephant.
    These administrators are big fishes in a canal oui..’s only in Trinidad they can get these types of employment.
    Once they go outside they will not survive. Because you have to follow procedures.
    Imagine these workers bring jerked around by an egotistical jackass trying to establish himself as an administrator.

  6. Whatelse is new in our sweet country . Them really good yes.

  7. “Things fall apart,”” the poet has warned; “The centre cannot hold. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

    Anarchy often has the initials BS but sometimes, I think, that is replaced by DS.

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