Senator Kenneth L. Gittens on Wednesday said he was deeply bothered about the deplorable conditions that have been ongoing at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on St. Croix. He said hearing of the most recent structural collapse of the flooring of one of the trailers, exemplifies the dire need to make improvements for the benefit of the employees and the community at large.
“Senator Frankin Johnson and I both visited the Bureau last week and again today when we were contacted about unsafe conditions. I stated my opinion that the temporary trailers - which have been there almost 6 years – are dangerous and unsafe,” Senator Gittens said. “I spoke with the BMV director Barbara McIntosh, Gov. Albert Bryan and union representative of USW about relocating operations, and not forcing the employees back inside for their safety and the safety of the public.”
Senator Gittens said he expressed those sentiments again on local radio today when he heard that employees were ordered to go back into the hazardous trailers. “I advised them that if the conditions inside the trailer pose a risk of harm or even death, they have a legal right to refuse to work in that environment,” he said. “We have to get serious about the quality of our workplaces and the health of our employees. We have to do better as a government, or we are exposing ourselves to losses and lawsuits.”
Senator Gittens said BMV has been making a lot of improvement in their processes and he is hopeful that the administration will be able to come up with a solution in short order to ensure that the needs of the public continue to be met in an area that is safe for everyone. He said he visited with the injured employee at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital Wednesday afternoon and she is in stable condition and in good spirits.