PSA president Watson Duke walks through High Street, San Fernando today, calling on workers to stay away from work on Friday. He made the walk soon after several trade union leaders met in San Fernando to further addres Friday's planned day of "rest and reflection".
Video & photo by Kristian De Silva.
The Chamber of Industry and Commerce is calling on citizens all Petrotrin stakeholders to adopt a level-headed approach and work collaboratively for a successful way forward.
The Chamber said in a statement Monday that it deems the call by the president of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU), a retrograde step that may simply serve to undermine the economy, and ultimately harm the very persons it is intended to help.
Minister of Public Administration, Marlene Mc Donald is seeking to discourage citizens from adhering to calls made by labour leaders, to stay away from their jobs on Friday.
In a statement issued on Monday, the ministry said the minister wishes to discourage citizens from taking "such irresponsible and injudicious action".
She is reminding public servants that, as a rule, persons employed in the essential services are prohibited from withholding their services whether or not in sympathy with institutions in which they are not employed.
Political analyst Prof John La Guerre has viewed the T&T Unified Teachers’ Association’s (TTUTA) call for teachers to stay away from classes on September 7 as holding the nation’s children to ransom.
La Guerre weighed in on the issue a day after TTUTA president Lynsley Doodhai called on teachers to boycott classes as a show of solidarity for the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU), which was dealt a hard blow with the shutdown of the Petrotrin refinery.
Minister of Finance Colm Imbert and PSA president, Watson Duke, have agreed to draft a Memorandum of Understanding on the structure of the proposed Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority.
The decision came via a meeting of the ministry and the PSA on Wednesday.
Legislation on the authority is now before a Joint-Select Committee of Parliament and requires a special majority vote.
Minister Imbert said the two parties discussed issued of job security and employee benefits, as well as union representation, the health plan and pension plan.
The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce says it supports the board of Petrotrin in its mandate to ensure that the organisation reinvents and repositions itself to become a competitive, self-sustaining entity.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Chamber said that in doing so, it believes that the company is on the right path to fulfilling its obligations to the State, and towards financing its own business requirements.
The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (FITUN) says the decision to close down the refining operations of Petrotrin, is putting the country back to a place similar to colonial times.
FITUn is demanding that the report of the Lashley Committee into the restructuring of Petrotrin, be made public.
FITUN's president Joseph Remy issued the following statement on Wednesday.
Former government minister Vasant Bharath says the loss of jobs at Petrotrin will undoubtedly cause severe hardship and social and economic dislocation.
He says it is ironic that the decision to shut down the refinery, comes during the week T&T celebrates Independence Day.
Bharath issued the following statement on Tuesday.
"It is noteworthy that the announcement of the planned shutdown of the refinery of Petrotrin has emerged in the week of the observance of Trinidad and Tobago's 56th Anniversary of political independence.
Predicting an exponential increase in fuel prices at the pumps if government succeeded in selling the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery, president general of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union president general Ancel Roget is calling on all citizens to join with the OWTU to stop the government from selling T&T's prized national oil assets.