The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) is speaking out against the call by PSA President Watson Duke for workers of the Board of Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise Division to stay away from work on Thursday and Friday.
DOMA issued the following statement today.
"On behalf of the members of the Downtown Owners and Merchants community we wish to express serious apprehensions regarding the call by the PSA President for Thursday and Friday to be days of rest for the Board and Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Division.
The concerns expressed by the PSA President regarding job security and tenure for existing staff as it relates to the formation of the new Revenue Authority are legitimate and understandable.
Those who have worked in both agencies that would form the new Revenue Authority are entitled to know with some certainty about their job security.
This is especially true for some who have worked for almost their entire careers in these services.
However, we hasten to point out that the stated intention of the new Revenue Authority is enhanced revenue collection, a goal which the PSA and its President should eagerly support since enhanced Government revenue is required to maintain overall job security for the entire public sector.
We wish to also respectfully point out that the Board of Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Division are vital agencies in the operations of the now fragile national economy.
In particular, Customs and Excise Division officers are critical facilitators of economic trade.
Any interruption in the Customs and Excise service will add more pain and grief to the financial predicament facing almost all business operators across all sectors and industries in the country. It will also damage the PSA’s employer at a time when there have been rumors that monthly loans are required to pay monthly salaries in the public service.
We wish to say with equal respect and emphasis to the PSA President that other means of negotiation must be employed, at least in these early days of the Revenue Authority in an effort not to damage the economic “tree” that must bear fruit for us all.
We look forward to an example of responsibility and prudence among the two main sides in the Revenue Authority formation. The business community, as a stakeholder with vital interests wishes to urge dialogue in this long-running issue which dates back two administrations.
If the two sides can find mutual ground to stand on there will be time to take many days of non-disruptive and deserved rest in the future instead of an impromptu interruption that will provide no rest, no relaxation, only anxiety and stress for a citizenry and investment community growing more worried by the day."