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.
Petrotrin has confirmed the news that it is ending oil-refinery operations.
The company's management disclosed the news to the media earlier today after discussions with the unions.
The company late issued this statement.
"The Petrotrin Board of Directors met on 2018 Tuesday August 28 with its employee representative unions and the Company’s management to announce plans to end Petrotrin’s oil-refining operations at Pointe-a-Pierre and to redesign entirely its Exploration and Production business.
Trinmar’s Branch President Ernesto Kesar is debunking any notion that the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) had anything to do with the purported sale of Petrotrin’s refinery.
In an interview on Tuesday morning about an hour before the OWTU went into a meeting with Petrotrin’s Board, Kesar said the lives of over 100,000 people were hanging in a balance.
He said about 3,400 workers will be directly affected if the PNM government sold or privatized Petrotrin’s operations.
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.