"Frustrated" Petrotrin workers gather to hear company's fate

It was a feeling of gloom and doom outside the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery on Tuesday morning as workers received news that the refinery will be shut down and some 700 workers will be sent home. 

From as early as 6 am, an Oilfield Workers Trade Union representative stood outside the main gates advising workers that the union will be addressing them outside Beaumont Hill at 12 midday to give an update on the current state of the troubled oil company. 

Some of the workers appeared harassed and frustrated.

Others were angry and a few were nonchalant.   

One worker James Gabriel said, "At this point, we have to do what is necessary to safeguard our families. There is a lot of secrecy and uncertainty. People are anxious and worried. In the event that we are sent home, we will have to look for other jobs." 

Another worker who requested anonymity said he intended to go to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate to find work.

A clerical worker who walked past the security shrugged saying, “What will we do? We have no choice. They are in charge.”

Outside the Trinmar facility, hundreds of Trinmar workers gathered.

Advising them that the union will be meeting with them later today.

In an internal company memo sent by George Commissiong, all private payroll employees Grades 11-17 from Petrotrin as well as Grades 8 and above from Trinmar Operations were invited to a meeting at 3 pm today at the Pointe-a-Pierre staff club.

A source said there was the suspicion that these workers will be sent home. 

President General of the OWTU Ancel Roget is expected to address the media at 1:30 pm.

Roget has not revealed details of whether the OWTU was informed beforehand of the impending shutdown.

The union and Petrotrin are scheduled to meet at 10:30 am at the Petrotrin Staff Club following which he will meet with workers at midday.

We will have more information as this story develops.

- by Radhica De Silva

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