Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 20, 2018 – Several employees at St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport said the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA’s) recent revocation of the security pass of Ramp Attendant, Curtis Crooke, is “pure victimisation” and the characterization of him as “a security risk,” does not fit the person who they have worked with and known for years.
Crooke, a vocal critic of the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government and an employee of TDC Airlines for the past 20 years, of which 15 has been at the airport, had his security revoked on November 12th 2018, two months after it was renewed with a new expiration date of September, 30, 2019 by the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA).
Unsolicited, several persons over the past few days, have sent expressions condemning the decision. Some are of the view that it was “sheer political victimisation” pointing out that disrespect of airport workers is widespread by government ministers, some top airport officials and some politically active civil servants, who breach security at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport.
“Crooke is one of the most respectful persons employed on the airport. It does not matter if you are the cleaner or the CEO, he respects you” said a person, who requested the name not be used for fear of victimisation.
“All because he voices his opinion, it’s clearly a political vendetta by Patches and Timothy. Not fair,” said another.
“I have worked with Curtis for years. He is Mr. Honest! Mr. Decent and Mr. Respectful. They just want to victimise the man for his political views that he is entitled too,” said a person, who also requested their name remain confidential.
“I have been working at the airport for a few months and it is good to talk to him. He always want to know how my children doing in school. It sad eh, you do not treat people, good people like that and I voted for them,” another individual submitted.
“I never see Curtis with a sad face and if you are sad, he brightens you up. Curtis is a caring and respectful person. Always follow the rules,” wrote another person.
“Why should Timothy Harris have the right to protest against the Labour administration, but it is wrong for Curtis to protest issues that he opposes,” an individual said.
“It is all trumped up charge about being a security risk. Sheer victimisation, just because he has a different political view and expresses them with a passion,” said another person.
Some of the employees were of the view that it is some of the people who run the airport that need to be given the red card, starting with the Minister of Public Works who has on “every occasion when he passes through the airport verbally disrespects the security officers in public.”
“SCASPA has gone back three years because of poor management. An in-law of a government minister who works for SCASPA, always break the rules by not declaring his personal weapon when he passes through security. What can we do? We stop challenge him. He and others are the real threat to the security of RLB, not Curtis,” said an individual, who said she should be referred to as Timisha.
“From the top down, flout all the international rules and regulations. It’s a wonder we not downgraded,” was another comment.
“At the end of the recent Music Festival in June, a male employee of the St. Kitts and Nevis Mission to the UN in New York was going through security and one of the officers on duty confiscated a package with fish that was unaccompanied with the required paper from the fisheries office. The Mission employee, A.P. grabbed the package and took it with him on American Airlines,” said another individual who witnessed the incident.