No more licences for foreign casino workers, Govt told - Thursday 26th of July 2007

The Union of Members Clubs and Lottery Workers (UMCLW) is demanding that Government put a hold on granting licences and work permits to foreigners as a way of dealing with the reported foreign infiltration and alleged "foreign Mafia" in the gaming industry.

Following a meeting with National Security Minister Martin Joseph yesterday, executive member of the union, Cindy Gibbs-Nicholas, said that they felt it was high time that the government move to treat with the concerns the union had about foreign elements in the gaming industry rather than shut it down and put thousands of workers on the breadline.

Gibbs-Nicholas, who was accompanied by Vincent Cabrera, General Secretary of the National Trade Union Centre (Natuc), and other executives of the UMCLW, met with Joseph and his team at the Ministry of National Security at Temple Court, Port of Spain, yesterday where they made the request for government to hold back on granting licences and work permits to foreigners.

Gibbs-Nicholas said that while Government was saying that it was concerned about the uncontrolled foreign element in the gaming industry "it is the same government that is giving them licence, and work permits for them to come here and work".

"There are over 150 foreign workers taking top positions in these establishments where locals can do the same job."

"We want Government to at least grant a moratorium on licences and work permits to foreigners until these negotiations are completed and until we know where the gaming industry stands," Gibbs-Nicholas said.

She said that Joseph told them that he was not aware of the issues which they raised and requested more information.

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