Windshield wipers who ply their trade at the stoplight at the Portia Simpson Miller Square in Three Miles, St Andrew, are anxious as work has commenced in the busy square to construct a multilayer bridge.
The development is being undertaken by China Harbour Engineer Company (CHEC).
The youths, who use the area daily to wipe windshields for a chance at securing a dollar, usually at the discretion of motorists, are worried that the days ahead may lead to despair or force them into a life of crime.
“A bridge a go slow we up cause we nah go get fi work. We ask dem for some of the work. Dem a deal with dem thing still, but we nuh see dem tek on nobody yet. We nuh know wah go gwan,” Michael Rose told THE STAR.
Most of the youth who work ‘under the light’, as they refer to the location, share similar sentiments.
“A one way me feel bout it and is for when it start, dem give we work. Mi nuh know who fi talk to bout it. We nah nobody fi represent we, but we want somebody fi represent we. A just work we want,” Delmar Smith told our news team.
The men are from the nearby communities of ‘Back To’ and Payne Land, where crime and violence are sometimes regular occurrences.
The young men told THE STAR that they do not wish to become a problem to others, so they are seeking work to keep them busy.
Ricardo Humphrey, who is usually at the location with the wipers, had some concerns and told THE STAR that those concerns need the right attention.
He said, “Manpower is here, but some of dem nuh have nuh TRN (Taxpayer Registration Number), NIS (National Insurance Scheme) number, no ID. Mi woulda love dem buss dem on the work,” he said. “Certain man have dem documents, and some don’t. Some of dem want the work, enuh, but dem can’t talk for themselves. If dem want a food, a under the light. If a dollar fi mek, a under the light.”
Efforts by THE STAR to speak with National Works Agency’s Communication and Customer Service Manager Stephen Shaw proved futile.