Following problems at the Port Mourant Market which began three weeks ago with vendors protesting the non-action of the Johns/Port Mourant Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Overseer, several of those affected have now formed a Market Committee.
The committee includes three vendors: one from the fish and meat section, one from vegetable and the other representing clothes and food vendors and is headed by former Mayor of New Amsterdam Claude Henry; the committee also includes the market clerk and councillors from the Johns/Port Mourant NDC.
Vendors who operate seven days a week, had picketed in protest of the emergence of a Friday-night market. The protest followed several complaints to the Johns/Port Mourant NDC over the unfairness of having some persons vend outside of the market while only some are required to pay market fees.
Those vending on Friday-nights have been retailing vegetables to customers at wholesale prices and within a few weeks, hundreds began supporting the Friday-night market, forcing the others to protest.
Those ‘legitimate’ vendors later refused to pay market fees, subsequently the NDC market revenue dropped from $150,000 to $20,000 weekly.
Following the establishment of the market committee on Tuesday, the Saturday evening vendors were prevented from selling at the market.
Police were called in and prevented persons who went to the area to vend from doing so. They were only allowed to display their merchandise after midnight. And those who remained until daylight were made to pay market dues.
The regular vendors explained that they were happy with the action taken. Meanwhile, at the first meeting, it was suggested that Market Police be employed and present on Friday-nights and Saturdays.
The committee is expected to meet again on Wednesday.