by Senator Ray Roberts
A Conference of the Caribbean Heads of Government is a tremendous symbol and work in progress of regional integration; however such events must not ignore significant burning issues such as the suffering Grenadian and OECS workers whose pension and other investments with CLICO remain unresolved after several years.
It was deeply regrettable that not a single word was said by any of the Caricom leaders who addressed the official opening ceremony about the regional leaders’ continued initiatives to achieve compensation/settlement and closure to the CLICO disservice to workers and others in the sub-region.
The speeches of the outgoing Caricom Chairman President Granger of Guyana and incoming Chairman Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada ought to have said something to the region. People are suffering — CLICO collected their money for years, and in their time of need, our leaders seemingly abandoned them!
Here in Grenada, the entire Sea Men Workers’ Union Pension Fund was invested with CLICO; and today, men are retiring to poverty after paying for decades.
For those affected, does Caricom have any meaning to a suffering retired, or retiring worker and his family if the trust in what was one of the prides of Caribbean institutions as CLICO, failed them?
Prime Minister Mitchell spoke about the youth but, the same youth are the children of the suffering workers whose expectations of CLICO are yet to materialise!
Nevertheless, we hope that the Conference of Heads will say something on the CLICO issue before the meeting ends.