In T&T: ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you!’

3 April 2012

Hardware dealers with no cement to sell…deliveries expected in two weeks.

Hardware stores across the country are feeling the brunt of the ongoing TCL strike—now in its sixth week—with sales and supply of cement and cement products becoming few and far between.

“Before the strike, you could just call the factory to pick up a load, now you have to wait on them to call you when a shipment comes in,” president of the Hardware Dealers Cooperative Society Ltd, Joseph Callender, said yesterday.

Speaking to the Express via telephone , Callender, whose society represents some 300 hardware dealers nationwide, said it could take up to two weeks between deliveries. He added he had received reports that the shortage has resulted in customers having to pay as much as $105 per bag—an almost two-thirds increase in price.

He said sales for other construction materials like bricks have also slowed substantially, and this was hurting the construction industry.

“No cement, no construction, no sale,” Callender said, adding it was “embarrassing” for hardware dealers to say no to customers because they have no products to sell.

“We think the union and TCL are playing games,” Callender said.

He called on Labour Minister Errol McLeod and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar to intervene immediately to solve to impasse.


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