ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Tension between management at the St John’s Market Complex and vendors at the facility appeared to be rising on Thursday as vendors once again complained of the treatment meted out to them by authorities.
The already fragile relationship took another downward turn after traffic wardens and police began enforcing regulations, which prohibit parking on both sides of the complex.
However, the traders see the move as unfair and have called on the authorities to provide parking for the complex. They said sales dropped significantly since the measures came into force in April.
The St John’s Development Corporation (SDJC), the entity responsible for the market complex, proposed alternate parking arrangements for shoppers, but the vendors think it’s too far from them and too close to competing interests.
A letter written to OBSERVER Media on Thursday, highlighted a deteriorating relationship between management and these sellers.
Vendors, who pay close to EC $500 a month to operate from the complex, report that they are receiving “massa treatment” from management.
“The dictatorship that the vendors are subjected to is grossly unfair,” they wrote adding that they were being charged extra to vend on the roadside.
They said the problem of “vagrants, alcoholics and drug abusers” in the complex was driving customers away making it hard to pay their rents.
The acting general manager of the complex Jaymore Greene did not facilitate OBSERVER Media when we visited the complex on Thursday. Executive Director of the SJDC Anthony Stuart did not return our phone calls up to press time.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)