Union head: ‘Massy Stores must improve security’

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Massy Stores, La Romaine.

THE Contractors and General Workers Trade Union (CGWTU) which represents monthly-paid workers at Massy Stores, is expressing fear for the safety of its members.

Union president Ermine De Bique is even questioning security arrangements at Massy Stores, in the aftermath of the robbery at the company’s Gulf View, La Romaine location on Friday night.

De Bique also expressed general concern about criminals masquerading as police when carrying out these crimes.

Even as she raised an alarm over the attack mainly on female workers, De Bique said the security arrangements must be changed and improved given the spate of robberies especially at the Gulf View location.

The union president visited the store on Saturday morning, hours after the assistant manager was abducted while on her way home. Her abductors, wearing ski masks and bulletproof vests bearing the police markings, forced her to return to the store and give them access to the vault.

An undisclosed sum of money was stolen and the manager was left in the store as the bandits escaped in her car.

Police were able to apprehend some of the suspects as they cornered the getaway car at the Cross Crossing overpass. During a shootout with police, one of the suspects was killed.

Spent shells from a high powered rifle, plus a bulletproof vest with the word: POLICE, $15,400 in assorted bills and the Massy Store’s supervisor’s purse and cellular phone were found in the car.

De Bique said while the person who was abducted is not part of their bargaining unit, “usually, it is our members who are the key-holders.” De Bique said security must be provided for the key-holders.

Expressing concern about the spate of robberies at this particular location, De Bique said, “In the last year, this store would have been targeted on at least three occasions.

“In the last months of last year, it was targeted twice, but only once the bandits succeeded. Now for the first week of this year, another robbery has taken place.”

She said the new method of operation by the bandits is worrisome as they are now targeting women on their way home. Friday night’s robbery took place after the store closed.

“The security measures Massy have in place before now, must be revised considering the nature of the robberies. There must be some changes to protecting their employees who are our members.”

She said she expressed her concerns to the company’s CEO and HR and has requested an urgent meeting.

In a statement Massy said safety remains a priority for their employees.

The company said it continues to implement extensive safety measures to protect employees, customers and all persons who visit their locations across the country.

Massy said these measures are consistently being reviewed and updated.

It said it was collaborating closely with the stakeholders, especially the police, thanking the TTPS for its quick action which resulted in the capture of individuals who were involved in Friday’s attack on the store and employee.

President of the Greater San Fernando Chamber Kiran Singh also commended the southern division for its swift response.