Roget tells Petrotrin workers don't take letters

Oil­fields Work­ers’ Trade Union pres­i­dent gen­er­al An­cel Ro­get is urg­ing Petrotrin work­ers not to ac­cept any ter­mi­na­tion pack­ages from the com­pa­ny un­til an ap­peal of the mat­ter is heard in the Ap­peal Court.

In an ear­ly morn­ing text ex­change with Guardian Me­dia hours af­ter Jus­tice Ap­peal Char­maine Pem­ber­ton blocked the in­junc­tion award­ed to the OW­TU by the In­dus­tri­al Court, Ro­get said he planned to ad­vise the work­ers to not ac­cept any pack­age from the com­pa­ny "while the in­junc­tion ap­peal is be­ing heard."

Pem­ber­ton blocked the in­junc­tion award­ed by the In­dus­tri­al Court around 11.32 last night and fixed the hear­ing to re­sume be­fore a three-mem­ber pan­el of the Ap­peal Court for next Thurs­day (Oc­to­ber 18).

Last Tues­day, the In­dus­tri­al Court had grant­ed an in­junc­tion to the OW­TU pro­hibit­ing Petrotrin from mov­ing ahead with the ter­mi­na­tion timetable be­fore the court heard an in­dus­tri­al re­la­tions mat­ter the union had raised against the ail­ing state oil com­pa­ny.

Petrotrin had al­ready hand­ed out close to 500 ter­mi­na­tion let­ters to work­ers last week­end ahead of the in­junc­tion but those were ren­dered void pend­ing the out­come of the ap­peal yes­ter­day.

Af­ter hear­ing ar­gu­ments for close to sev­en hours from lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Petrotrin, the OW­TU and the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney Gen­er­al, Pem­ber­ton even­tu­al­ly ruled in the com­pa­ny’s favour.

Hours af­ter Tues­day’s rul­ing, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Colm Im­bert had told the na­tion that Gov­ern­ment could not af­ford to con­tin­ue to bail out the com­pa­ny, as to do so risked crip­pling the en­tire econ­o­my.

Petrotrin chair­man Wil­fred Es­pinet was al­so pub­licly crit­i­cal of the In­dus­tri­al Court's rul­ing and had to be cau­tioned by his lawyers against fur­ther com­ment as he bor­dered on con­tempt of court.

 - by Renuka Singh

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