Almost one hundred workers turned out to the parking lot of the Royal Bank facility near Grand Harbour to receive government cheques for cleaning up trash, overgrown bush and other miscellaneous items.
The undertaking was part of the United Democratic Party’s plan to temporarily employ out-of-work Caymanians, permanent residents and spouses of Caymanians.
The effort is also hoped to spruce up Grand Cayman’s natural beauty ahead of the Christmas holidays.
Friday’s payment was for one week’s worth of work, which consisted of seven hour days and lasted from Monday to Friday.
All seemed content and very happy with the programme and its results, according to Junita Lake, who assisted George Town MLA Ellio Solomon in the cheque distribution.
However, some of the men on hand who did not receive cheques became extremely irate and had to be restrained.
The men complained that they had worked all week and could not understand why there was no cheque bearing their name nor why the payment came so late in the evening, after being initially scheduled for 3pm.
One of the men chanted, ‘I want to buy my baby pampers and now I can’t, somewhere is getting robbed tonight.’
These incidents were quelled quite quickly when one of the concerned onlookers in the crowd reached into his pocket and gave the disgruntled man the equivalent of his cheque in cash.
Others were told to put down their names if they had not received a cheque.
All persons would be paid in due course, according to those accompanying Mr. Solomon.
He remarked, ‘It is a great feeling to know that you can put funds in the hands of several unemployed people.’
Work will continue across the Island this week.
The close-off date for the programme has not been announced.