Chamber relieved but questions sourcing of $80 million to pay Petrotrin workers

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 03:15

The T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce yesterday expressed relief that the strike had been averted at Petrotrin.

In a short statement, the business group said: “We are still reviewing what has been announced, often in situations like this what is not said is sometimes more important than what is said.

“This leaves the one year from the prior term and the 2014-17 term to be resolved so we are unsure what the full impact is and what further action is ahead of us.

“Bearing in mind the financial state of the company we are wondering where the money will come from to meet the new wage bill, our concern is for the sustainability of whatever is agreed, higher wages are only sustainable with higher productivity and moving the company from its current loss position.

“In the present very public state that Petrotrin finds itself, it is ultimately the taxpayer who will probably have to fund the increased losses if something is not done to turn around the business, because the state is no longer in a position to fund it.

“Something has to be done to ensure the long-term viability of Petrotrin in the new energy environment as we don’t have the luxury to continue to fund loss-making state enterprises.

“We are relieved that the citizens will not have to face the prospects of fuel shortages.”