The Small and Medium-Sized Bakers’ Union (UMPIH) and the Association of School Food Suppliers of the Dominican Republic (Supliderd) came together late last week to announce that government arrears in payments for school meals, to the tune of some RD$2 billion, would force them to radicalize their fight to be paid. The bakers had announced they would not be preparing the school breakfast supplies for Monday and Tuesday, 11-12 February 2019. But at last minute, they announced they would give the government another week to make good on promises to pay.
The president of the UMPIH, Aaron David Dinzey, had told reporters that the 204 suppliers of bread and crackers for the school breakfast programs across the nation is owed some RD$700 million, without taking into account the collateral expenses involved in carrying such a debt. He said: “We have gone six months without receiving any money from the Ministry of Education and its National Institute for Student Welfare (Inabie), which creates an unsustainable situation for all of us, so if we do not see positive results, we will have to become more radical in our demands.”
The spokesman said they were forced to suspend the service because the flour cooperative that supply all of the bakers had also run out of money to finance the raw materials.
The head of the Inabie, Rene Jaquez Gil, told reporters that they have nearly RD$7 billion with which to pay their suppliers, but that “for reasons of time they have not been able to make the payments.”
11 February 2019