Businessman Anderson Cherry is crying out that he has been under attack for the past week and is suggesting that damage caused by fire to his Belle, St Michael office complex of Jose y Jose is just a continuation.
Though Cherry has begun to count his losses, quick action by a team of seven fire officers from Probyn Street, under the command of Station Officer Denton Foster, averted total disaster last night for the businessman, who had already suffered significant financial losses this week on account of the Government’s new tipping fee for garbage disposal.
Damage to the two-storey commercial building was contained to the lower level by the firemen who responded with two water tenders to a 12:27 a.m call. They were able to bring the blaze under control within 20 minutes.
Arriving on the scene around 1:30 a.m. after being informed by a neighbour, Cherry said the fire seemed to be the work of vandals.
However, the interim chairman of the Waste Haulers Association doubted there was any connection to this week’s protest action by members of the group. They have been off the job since Monday demanding that the Government removes the controversial $25 tipping fee, which they say puts their survival at stake.
The action by the private operators, who are responsible for about 65 per cent of the island’s garbage collection, has already resulted in several unsightly pile-ups across the country, even as Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe refuses to budge to the movers’ demands.
“I don’t want to get into trouble. For the whole week, them lambaste me. I have been attacked the whole week. Even Minister of Environment Lowe said he instructed Sanitation (Service Authority) to buy skips, so he is attacking me.
“It is not about me, please take me out of it. Take Anderson Arnold Cherry out of it,” he said.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY this morning at the Warrens, St Michael site, which has been home to the protestors for the past five days, Cherry assured that he would still be putting much effort into the strike action because it was important
“It is not about Jose and Jose and who doesn’t like me personally or who have been offended by me, I am not speaking on behalf of Jose and Jose, I am speaking on behalf of the waste haulers and I am speaking on behalf of the people of Barbados,” the businessman stressed.