Almost 100 residents of La Brea who were affected by an oil spill in December 2013, have lost their multi-million dollar negligence lawsuit against now-defunct Petrotrin.
Delivering an oral ruling at the end of a brief procedural appeal at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appellate Judge Charmaine Pemberton upheld the decision of a High Court judge who had previously dismissed the residents’ claim.
Petrotrin says that it has transferred $50 million to commercial banks to fulfill its commitment to pay all former non-permanent workers outstanding backpay for the period 2011 to 2018.
Some 2069 individuals will benefit from the payout.
A statement by Petrotrin says that a team from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) worked diligently during the past several weeks to ensure the company met its commitment to pay workers by January 15.
Petrotrin ceased operations on November 30, 2018, but the process for determining the amounts owed to each worker required detailed work.
Retrenched Petrotrin workers may be facing a bleak Christmas this year having lost their jobs but the company officials say all outstanding arrears for back pay will be paid by January 15.
Retrenched Petrotrin workers staged a protest outaside the company's Pointe-a-Pierre facilities this morning demanding payment of severance, backpay and other benefits.
Police officers and soldiers stood guard in front of the locked gates of the facility and gas tankers were rerouted to another entrance as about 100 former workers blocked the gate
Oilfield Workers' Trade Union (OWTU) Pointe a Pierre branch president Christopher Jackman said about 1000 former permenant and casual workers were promised payments by last Friday.
Government has identified some of Petrotrin's lands in the South for development and transfer of ownership to former Petrotrin workers, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced yesterday.
The land offer is the latest concession Government is giving former workers following the November 30 cessation of Petrotrin operations, closure of its refinery and start-up of restructured entities on December 1.