Customs Officers meet, voice opposition to Border Control

Customs Officers are ‘dead set’ against the proposed new Border Control Agency and voiced their opposition to the idea at a meeting Tuesday afternoon, a reliable source told St Lucia Times.

An estimated close to one hundred Customs Officers attended the meeting  at the headquarters of the Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA), according to reports.

“The officers were determined to oppose the agency,” one of the persons who was in attendance at the gathering explained.

The attendee told St Lucia Times that the main concern of those in attendance related to job security.

According to the source, the Customs Officers are unsure of whether a statutory body will be created, asserting that  Prime Minister Allen Chastanet’s public denial does not harmonise with a cabinet conclusion on the subject.

Published media reports this week indicated that Cabinet conclusion No 247 of 2018  on April 16, 2018, approved the  establishment of the Saint Lucia Border Management Authority as a Statutory Corporation.

“We are confused,” the St Lucia Times source declared.

Prime Minister Chastanet  has said that the goal of the proposed new Border Control Agency is to strengthen this country’s borders.

He disclosed that as a result, there will be the integration of immigration, customs, quarantine and the Marine Police to create the new body.

The PM met last week with representatives of the CSA to discuss concerns over the proposed new agency, after a  letter from CSA General Secretary, Claude Paul, requesting a meeting.

 

 

23 Comments

  1. Zeigy
    August 29, 2018 at 8:14 am Reply

    Job security…in 2018? Some people still live in a bubble, eh?

    1. Assag
      August 29, 2018 at 8:22 am Reply

      Lazy government workers for you

  2. Neutral
    August 29, 2018 at 8:40 am Reply

    Can’t disagree with them everybody got a right to fight for their livelihood

    1. Zeigy
      August 29, 2018 at 10:55 am Reply

      Correct, it’s called self-employment.

  3. Josito Mateo
    August 29, 2018 at 8:44 am Reply

    Micoud people you all put the country in this predicament I hope you all are seeing what is happening. We are upside down now. Anyway custom officers what you all voted for is what you all are getting.
    Bravo Chas

    1. Zeigy
      August 29, 2018 at 10:59 am Reply

      Not a predicament, a sensible policy to improve government agencies. I just want the CDC buildings sold off to the Syrians so I can see land value take off around the city.

  4. Officer
    August 29, 2018 at 9:01 am Reply

    We are not against the border agency. The report is incorrect. We are fighting against the statutory board that will be established. This is not in the best interest of the country. It is not right that a major revenue collection unit and a law enforcement unit be left to the hands of private citizens. This leaves the unit vulnerable to corruption.

    SLASPA is the ideal model. When political parties change power the management of SLASPA also gets changed. This entity is a revenue playground for politicians. One hardly hears of the things that go on there but it certainly has its share of stories. Ask Mr. S. Mathews or Mr. K. Cox. These gentlemen have been casualties of political malice. Would this country have confidence in a police force that is a statutory board in the hands of private persons?

    Our fight is not a political one however, sadly its being played out as one. Our new politically appointed Comptroller sends out missives under an alias to undermine our situation making things worse. We are quite aware that she has attended meeting on the matter and has deliberately kept officers in the dark to preserve her status. Mr. St.Helen has been sacrificed by the government for stating the truth.

    The prime minister has also proven himself to be speaking untruths on this matter. He publicly stated that there was no statutory board to be established. Yet this was the first thing on the cabinet conclusion. Of which he is the leader of Cabinet.

    It would be wrong for officers not to fight this. This is not just for job security but also for the security of the nation. A law enforcement agency should never be the responsibility of private citizens. Pure Madness.

    1. Zeigy
      August 29, 2018 at 11:30 am Reply

      Hang on, you can’t have a statutory board and have it in the hands of private persons. That sounds like an oxymoron. But I don’t know much about these types of organisational structures. It looks good on paper to me. The statutory board reports to the ministry. If the ministry doesn’t like what’s going on then they replace the board.

      Anyway, I can’t really comment on what you’re saying, there is a lot I do not understand.

    2. Joe Public
      August 29, 2018 at 12:13 pm Reply

      “Officer”, you say the report is incorrect, but your explanation makes even less sense.

      Statutory bodies are not “in the hands of private citizens”. Then you say that “SLASPA is the ideal model” but then you say it is a “playground for politicians”. Did you mean that it is a good example or a bad example?

      The use of these types of structures for important government functions, including law enforcement, is not new in the world or in the Caribbean for that matter. You guys need to inform yourselves a bit better.

      I think the concern about job losses is a legitimate one. But perhaps you guys could get someone who actually understands these things to advise you? Because if what you’ve stated is going to be the argument going forward, you guys will end up looking like fools.

  5. Concerned
    August 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Zeigy if u don’t understand, shut your ***. You respond to every comment and it’s obvious what you’re doing is defending your party. The statutory corporation will be made up of a board of ppl chosen by whoever Chastanet chooses. The monies collected by customs will be deposited in the account of that board instead of the accountant general’s account. PURE MADNESS. Instead of threats made to officers who search their bags; they will simply be fired.
    The scariest part however is St. Lucia’s revenue in the hands of anyone chosen by whichever party is in power rather than the government. This is a playground for disaster and it will not be allowed to go through.

    1. Zeigy
      August 29, 2018 at 2:25 pm Reply

      I see you took the bait, I was expecting this comment. Attack the messenger, ignore the message. The way of the black man’s mind.

      Maybe the way you were brought up you were told to shut your *** when you did not understand something, by people who themselves did not understand something but pretended to; but where I’m from you let people know you do not understand something so that they may clarify or impart their knowledge.

  6. Winston
    August 29, 2018 at 12:28 pm Reply

    Shut up customs officers look at the expensive cars that you all drive and the big houses all of you all are involve in the cocaine drug trade

  7. Concerned
    August 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm Reply

    I’m a customs officer but citizen security to me is more important than pocket dollars. A lot happens at borders. I think that is a good welcomed initiative.

  8. St.lucian
    August 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm Reply

    You guys are like sheep following blindly. Sit down and take a look as to what’s happening. Forget party for a moment and see the direction the country is moving into.
    . I am not a fan of SLP believe or not and I travel to vote flabo in however when I see my country is being sold to the Chinese I get concern for my kids and that gives me reason to fight for my country.

  9. Concerned
    August 29, 2018 at 1:10 pm Reply

    No one is querying the border control which u call “citizen security.” Just why does the “pocket dollars” have to be in the hands of Castanet boys (like you obviously). The border control can easily be controlled by the public service. ….written by concerned1 in response to concerned2

  10. james
    August 29, 2018 at 1:19 pm Reply

    THE CSA CANNOT DICTATE TO THE GOVERNMENT!

    1. King James
      August 30, 2018 at 1:05 am Reply

      Oh yes CSA can. The Government is accountable to the people and CSA represents the people

  11. Concerned
    August 29, 2018 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Oh James, so u decided to use your name this time huh ‘fake concerned?’ True CSA can’t dictate but neither can the government be run like Chastanet & Company

  12. Shabz
    August 29, 2018 at 1:39 pm Reply

    It right to happen. You cant bring a dress or a little something down them customs officers are like a pack of hungry dogs ready to devour you! I hopw all of them go home.

    1. public
      August 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply

      Well Shabz just wait when it becomes a statutory body where all concerns will be made about making profit like lucelec and slaspa.
      You will one of the first one crying for change.

  13. Neutral
    August 29, 2018 at 2:56 pm Reply

    Sad to see the people of st.lucia fight down each other like this.Just because it doesn’t affect you directly means you shouldn’t care about people jobs. One day it may be your turn and someone will call you lazy. While the big shots continue to open businesses and get board appointments.

  14. King James
    August 29, 2018 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Stand firm Customs Officers of St Lucia – Stand Firm !
    You are well aware that Officers in Barbados and Trinidad resisted this attempt to put them under a Statutory Board. In both cases the Government in Office was VOTED OUT and the new incoming Governments squashed the idea. You cannot have a LAW ENFORCEMENT Agency under a Statutory Board with Political Appointees and a Minister dictating to Officers -Foolishness. It would never happened with the Police Force. Stand Firm Customs St. Lucia – Barbados is Behind You

  15. BlackShade
    August 29, 2018 at 11:35 pm Reply

    It is very simple for me. If there are aspects that are not favourable then deal with it. But you cannot throw the baby out with the bath water. I think the idea of a border agency is a good one. More so when it comes to the potentiality of reducing the amount of illegal guns and deadly drugs that are flowing into our very porous borders.

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