We have no rights - Shop operators in the Constant Spring Market say they have nowhere to go

August 24, 2018
A tyre shop is one of the many businesses behind the market.
Lloyd Mason says he has been at spot before the market was built.
Donald Saddler believes there is space behind the Constant Spring Market for some persons to stay.
There are several businesses at the back of the Constant Spring Market.

Shop operators who run businesses at the back of the Constant Spring Market are crying out for representation as they, too, have been served with notices to pack up and go by September 30.

According to some operators, the plans for development and relocation should also involve and incorporate them as their livelihoods are also being affected.

Lloyd Mason, who owns one of the shops, said that he has been selling snow cones at the spot since before the market was built.

"Mi deh bout in the '60s too, enuh. The market start mek inna di '60s. The people dem from uptown start use the market, so the government build it up. It deh ya and a gwaan good. Dem collect market fee from dem time deh. But from the supermarket build, we start get pressure," he said.

Mason is of the view that the shops on the outskirts of the market help to make the area lucrative.

"The shop dem around the market keep up the market. Some a we a pay $2,000, some a pay $3,000 every week for market fee. Me have the whole of my ticket cause me nuh dash weh ticket," he said.

When asked what he intends to do come September 30, the deadline given to move from the property, Mason said: "I don't have anywhere going. Dem nuh tell we where we fi go. We a nuh squatters round ya, we a pay we money. A disrespect, straight," he said.

According to Mason, the shop owners and market vendors' rights are not being observed.

"We nah no rights inna this country. How dem a come run we from the market?" he asked.

While Mason is against the move, he said that he is open to going to somewhere else in the Constant Spring area.

"Anyweh inna Constant Spring we all right with. A eight pickney me get, six girls and two boys. and a right round ya so raise dem and send dem go school. Don't diss us because we poor," he said.

Behind the market are trade men and women who do dressmaking, carpentry, cooking, shoemaking and a wide range of other crafts.

Carleen Brown, who operates a cook shop, told our news team that she, too, was served notice to move.

"I don't have anywhere to go, so is either they relocate us, or pay us up and make we go. Because right now, at certain age, nobody a go employ us. Dem just come and hand the paper and say a so," she said.

Another shop operator of 34 years, Donald Saddler, told our news team that there is enough room behind the market to allow some persons to stay.

"If is just the market dem a talk bout, a whole heap space deh round here dem can make the people dem stay here. We nuh want no more location. More people a support round here than weh inna the market. A just we over this side dem a fight, poor people. Over the other side, the road cut around the building."

Meanwhile, the shop operators told our news team that a meeting is scheduled for today with Bert Samuels, the attorney representing them.

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