Union boss kicked out TSTT headquarters

Head of the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Work­ers’ Union (CWU) Clyde El­der was phys­i­cal­ly re­moved Wednes­day from the Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Ser­vices of Trinidad and To­ba­go (TSTT) Ed­ward Street, Port-of-Spain of­fice.

Guardian Me­dia un­der­stands that El­der was there to meet with work­ers to deal with their griev­ances when he was asked to leave the com­pound.

El­der, in a brief tele­phone in­ter­view mo­ments ago, claimed he was grabbed from be­hind by a TSTT se­cu­ri­ty guard and thrown out of the build­ing.

"I was grabbed from be­hind. The se­cu­ri­ty grabbed me and squeezed my chest and then threw me on the ground," El­der said.

El­der said he was in a lot of pain fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent and could not move from where he land­ed af­ter be­ing "man­han­dled" by the TSTT se­cu­ri­ty. He said an am­bu­lance had been called so he could get med­ical as­sis­tance.

This tus­sle be­tween the union rep­re­sen­ta­tives and com­pa­ny comes af­ter news sur­faced Tues­day that two se­nior em­ploy­ees from the Fi­nance and Au­dit­ing de­part­ments were sus­pend­ed over sus­pi­cion of leak­ing in­for­ma­tion to the me­dia.

Guardian Me­dia learned that the se­nior of­fi­cial in Fi­nance was es­cort­ed out of the build­ing on Tues­day, while the oth­er em­ploy­ee in the au­dit­ing de­part­ment was sus­pend­ed on Mon­day.

Guardian Me­dia sent ques­tions to both TSTT chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ronald Wal­cott and the com­pa­ny head of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions Mar­sha Ca­ballero on Tues­day and Wednes­day about the sus­pen­sions. Nei­ther re­spond­ed.

How­ev­er, Guardian Me­dia was told that the sus­pen­sions of the two se­nior em­ploy­ees came af­ter the T&T Guardian pub­lished an ar­ti­cle on Mon­day de­tail­ing a busi­ness deal be­tween Grav­i­tas Busi­ness So­lu­tions and TSTT to pro­vide con­tract work­ers to staff the Ac­counts Payable de­part­ment.

TSTT re­trenched five work­ers from that same de­part­ment last month and then inked a deal with Grav­i­tas to pro­vide con­tract work­ers to do the same job for more mon­ey. Ac­cord­ing to that deal, Grav­i­tas was paid some $96,750 for sup­ply­ing two work­ers.

The five work­ers were paid just over $65,000 a month.

Reporter: Renuka Singh

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