Windshield wiping pays better - Workers say alternative jobs don't make money

January 15, 2019
Windshield wipers busy at Portia Simpson Miller Square.

"It better fi work and do something for myself than a work and nah get good pay," windshield wiper Ryan Smith told THE STAR.

Smith, who works along the newly constructed Chesterfield Drive, said that in the past, he tried working for other people.

But he said he recognised that working for himself, despite the hot conditions, is better than working for less than he is worth.

"Mi used to work and deliver food inna my own car and mi a get pay $6,000 a week, and dem nah provide nothing for the car and you a tell me seh that fair? When mi deh out yah, mi deh pan mi own time, and mi a mek all close to that some days," he said.


Provide better opportunities


Smith said that for many years, he has cleaned windshields to send his now 10-year-old son to school and he is proud of the hard work he is doing as a father.

He, however, said that the Government needs to provide better opportunities for people to get work and hence help with lowering the temptation to do something wrong.

He said that many of the men doing this type of job are educated, but they have resorted to this because it is their best option.

"Mi get certified at HEART, and when mi done, there was no work or the work wah work yuh and nuh pay good," he said.

Another windshield wiper, who also plies his trade in the area, noted that business before the construction on the Three Miles area was not a bed of roses, but it was better than what they are facing now.

He said that not much is being done for them as the poorer set of people, and this has forced them to consider taking matters into their own hands.

"Sometimes mi wonder if dem wah wi do bad things because it feel like a dat dem a push wi fi do. When you look work, you caa find work, and when wi come out yah a wipe glass, police come and a rush wi, and dem thing deh," he said.

The windshield wipers said that they are calling on the Government to provide better opportunities for poor, educated people so that they do not have to resort to unscrupulous behaviour to get by.

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