Strike leaves students hungry

Students of the Troja Primary and Junior High School in St. Catherine, Jamaica, were deprived of a hot meal Monday as ancillary workers stayed off the job in a show of protest against the Ministry of Education.

The workers claim the ministry has failed to honour several claims made over the past five years.

When The Gleaner visited the institution yesterday, placard-bearing protesters and their sympathisers were claiming that applications for raincoats, flashlights, meal allowance and night premium had not been honoured by the Education Ministry despite several attempts by the workers and the union representing them.

The workers affected are cooks, night watchmen and cleaners.

Several teachers, students and other persons said they were in solidarity with the affected workers and, according to principal Guthrie Thompson, the question of the payments could not be addressed by the school but, rather, by the ministry.

The school has a total enrolment of over 500 students, most of whom are fed under the school’s hot meal programme which requires the presence of the ancillary staff.

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