HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
In fact in the Public Service at this time there are more employees on contract than ever before. The role of the Service Commission is being systematically encroached upon by a Human Resources Department which has assumed the function of employing personnel on a fixed term contract basis. From as early as 1985, this practice of employing persons on fixed term contracts, in permanent jobs has been occurring..more
TALKING IN TONGUES
It must be remembered at all times, that the society in which we live, is fashioned to meet the needs of the capitalist ruling class, and therefore the laws are not amended or repealed to advance or protect the interest of the workers, unless the workers by brute force demand that such changes are made...more
NWU:DEMOCKRACY BEFORE AND AFTER
"whether first past the post, proportional representation, mixed system, run-off elections…none of these methods advance the interests of working people and the poor. They are about electing which gang of political hustlers and confidence tricksters will live off the fat of the land, feed at the trough of public funds and ensure that their financiers are well taken care of"...more
LABOUR AND EMANCIPATION
The fundamental dynamic of West Indian history is to be found in the spiral of repression and resistance that continues to this day. The significance of the Haitian Revolution is that it succeeded and in succeeding, opened a thirst for and an ideology of liberation that spread throughout the Caribbean...more
MTS WORKERS MOVE TO DEFEND THEIR JOBS
The workers, overwhelmingly female and many single parents voiced their concern that Education Minister, Tim Gopeesingh plans to throw them on the breadline which would further exacerbate the social trauma besetting the nation...more
AUGUSTINE NOEL AND THE CHAG. LAND GRAB
The military officers, it is said, brought with them US racketeering and encouraged bobolism with some of our contractors and gangsters like the infamous Boysie Singh, a night-club owner, and with another who was a famous politician and religious leader.
Many of these local contractors and night club owners became millionaires through Yankee corruption while Augustine Noel and the land owners of Chaguaramas lost their lands and livelihood of farming and fishing on their ancestral property and were relocated to barren lands at Carenage...more
THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY
Hard to believe this Minister was first vice president of a union, fourteen of whose members were jailed in 1982 for refusing to obey a court injunction instructing them to vacate their occupation of the Bermudez Biscuit Company. It is interesting that none of the others seem anxious to act in the P.M's absence.
I guess with just about ten months to go in office they have more important things to do than try to sound powerful and statesman-like to a totally cynical national audience...more
WE MUST FACE OUR FEARS
According to Dr. Bridget Brereton, by the year 1870 however, the political landscape had already seen “the emergence of a coloured and black middle class espousing the ideology of Black Nationalism”. In her book Race Relations in Colonial Trinidad 1870-1900 she said that group “held the key to the political future of Trinidad.”...more
YOU HAVE TO KILL THE DOG
For those who control the criminal underworld, these young men and women, represent a pool of human resources available to be exploited, and to be used as cannon fodder while serving the evil ends of those who walk the corridors of power at both the corporate and government levels...more
NO MORE TEARS! NO MORE FEARS!
On Friday 4th July 2014 workers of CLICO/BAICO once again hit the streets as they picketed the central bank on independence Square, Port of Spain...more
NWU CONCERNED ABOUT ATTACK ON PSA MEMBERS
Employers may apply immediate sanctions against workers through dismissal, suspension, retrenchment, denial of promotions etc. But if workers take action against employers by exercising their power to control the deployment of their labour power, the law steps in and forces them to go through protracted legal processes or punishes them for not doing so...more
CHAGUARAMAS FARMERS UNDER PRESSURE
The next step, we understand, is to extend the golf course onto the largest remaining area of such fertile lands in the Chaguaramas Peninsular and the country. Most of us may not use the cable cars or play golf but we certainly all eat the food that these farmers cultivate so the common good or public interest should be clear to the decision makers...more
MONEY TALKS AND SILENCES TOO!
PNM has gotten its wish. We did get an early election since history will record that in June 2014 they elected/voted to join with the Partnership to resume feeding at the financial trough which was so rudely interrupted when Patrick Manning got a brain freeze. Larry Howai, of the FCB $10m severance payout, could cross the floor and nobody would notice...more
QUEEN OF THE BREAST
The rolling hills of Fyzabad, at the end of the race, test all mentally and physically. When the competitors do reach, most of them probably say, "Yuh see me, I done with that'', faces grimacing with painful pride, until June 19th the following year...more
THE COURAGE TO GO FORWARD
Bernadette Hood-Caesar visited T&T recently. She took the opportunity to market her self-published book THE COURAGE TO GO FORWARD. Ms. Hood Caesar took the NAR government to court in 1987 when they took away public servants’ Cost of Living Allowance and increments. The book is a narrative of her experiences while taking on that herculean task...more
DON'T BE FOOLED BY POLITICIANS AGAIN!
From 1969 until he died, Williams and the PNM waged an all out war against the progressive arm of the movement. They used inside agents and outside agents to destabilize these forces at every turn....more
JUNE 19 1937: GENERAL STRIKE AND INSURRECTION
There were clashes with police, the militias and Bluejackets (British marines) who had been summoned to put down the insurrection. The armed forces of the state and the workers waged pitched battles in Point Fortin, San Fernando, Penal, Ste. Madeleine, Waterloo, Woodford Lodge, Port of Spain, Rio Claro, Dinsley Village, Palo Seco, Sangre Grande and other areas...more
CHILDREN MUST BE HIT AND NOT HEARD
Even as we descend further into barbarism with State-sponsored and media-supported shooting to death of 15 and 17 year olds in the 'fight against crime', I shuddered on reading some of the comments being made on a social media page dedicated to teacher activity...more
1934: SUGAR WORKERS REVOLT
George F. Huggins to write to the Governor stating, "In years gone by the large East Indian indentured population, numbering many thousands and largely under the control of their respective plantation owners, managers and overseers, was looked upon as a substantial safeguard with the Negroes and vice-versa. With the abolition of immigration, such a counterpoise has ceased to exist and the "creole coolie” will either remain an interested spectator or join the mob” ...more
MEDICAL MAFIA BENEFITS FROM EXTERNAL PATIENTS PROGRAMME
Who are these people making sure there is a backlog and what do they have to gain? Aren’t they the very people who operate in the public hospitals and run their own private facilities? They create the backlog in the public sector and the Minister’s solution is to reward them by handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to them to ease the backlog? What absolute rubbish!...more
T&T'S FIRST GENERAL STRIKE
By November 1919 dockworkers were on strike again. Colonialism sought to break the strike by importing labour from Venezuela, Barbados and rural Trinidad. After three weeks on December 1st the dockers attacked the warehouses, ran off the scabs and marched on the city. Within days the entire country was seized by a general strike and colonialism was brought to its knees...more
RISE AND FALL OF THE WELFARE STATE
...the Labour Congress and the Council of Progressive Trade Unions were forced to come together in unity to fight against
the NAR government, to prevent the implementation of the structural adjustment policies contained in the Demas report. As a result, on March 6th 1989 (day of resistance) a national strike was called and the country was shut down!...more
ISSUE IS ONE OF CLASS
Little wonder that Hamel-Smith first presented his proposals before the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Why doesn't he take them to the people of Laventille, Caroni, Penal or Tobago?...more
The political task is to find a way to develop and install a set of reforms that help people believe they can confidently rely on a decision-making process to deliver civil rights and freedoms, human rights, economic and social rights, and which gradually relegates the role of ethnic solidarity...more
ARE WE UP TO THE TASK?
...they too should recognize that their central task is not to push move on political jamettes in and outside government; their role is to defend the gains of 1970 and to fight to ensure that the on-shore economy is developed through the direct intervention of the state, through the capitalization of such development, thereby expanding on, and further strengthening the control and influence of the people in economic activity...more
A LABOUR DAY FANTASY
That is like asking Dr. Andropov down at the Forensic Centre to sign up for Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation/C.P.R courses. Sorry, Andy does not do “bring back to life''. And do not expect any different from Comrade Dr. Keith or Head Nurse Jenny, who according to sources close to the Labour Movement came out of its bowels. Which intestine? No longer sure!...more
YOU KNOW HOW LONG I AINT TAKE A MAN!
...in this land of strange tales we have certain tried and tested formulations we apply to crisis, heedless of the fact that 'dat
ain't wukkin'. We have tried to hang, jail, assassinate, beat and narcotise our social problems since Independence: with astonishingly successful results, right?...more
SQUATTERS HAVE NO RIGHTS!
The question is who is going to control the 77,000 thousand acres of ex- Caroni land: small farmers, the ordinary citizens who are in a desperate quest for shelter or real estate speculators, wannabe agri-businessmen like Joe Pires, Balliram Maharaj and the like? Why am I asking answers and not questions? I leave that for you to answer...more
DISMANTLING THE WELFARE STATE
We have to understand that in the struggle of the working people to create not just wiggle room, but to clear enough space for the advancement of its cause which is to change the political and economic system, whereby working class democracy is allowed to take root; the welfare state is just one station along that route...more
Pay More Attention To Workers' Pensions
Nineteen (19) primary and secondary leaders of seven (7) Trade Unions, affiliated to both NATUC and FITUN, have emphasised the need for more attention to be paid to the question of workers’ pensions by union leaderships. They agreed that unions should be more involved in Pension Plans which their members contribute towards and where their retirement income is invested...more
LAB HOLDS PENSION WORKSHOP
On May 9th and 10th 2014, the Labour Advisory Bureau (LAB) will hold a workshop on pensions for trade unionists. The workshop is entitled FROM WORKPLACE TO RETIREMENT and will take place at the headquarters of the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU), Eastern Main Road, Laventille...more
CWU CALLS OUT MCLEOD
As exists presently the Industrial Relations Act places an onerous burden on workers and Trade Unions in attempts to organize Bargaining Units and as such employers use every opportunity to frustrate the process. Additionally the right of individual members or workers where there is no Recognized Majority Union is challenged at every instant...more
WE GONE THROUGH LONG TIME
This is a country which for a few years was the kidnapping capital of the world; where in the struggle to control turf, some are routinely beheaded; where foreign assassins have operated with impunity; where watchmen are jailed for possession of hundreds of millions worth of cocaine, while their employers in the import trade get away scot free...more
REALLY MR. ANNISETTE?
The point that this misses is that BIGWU members working at the FCB, along with the rest of us, already own the bank. It is difficult to see how you can be invited to buy what you already own...more
NWU PICKETS MCLEOD
NUDE CALLS FOR MEETING WITH MINISTER
...our concern is that we are not being informed as to what steps government has taken or is taking to ensure Decent Work for Domestic Workers...more
OF ONE SMART & TWO SMART
"...while we are hearing quite a lot of chatter about governance, procurement, transparency, section 34, the leaking of a confidential Flying Squad report, allegedly from a government agency, none of those persons who have been chattering almost every day about those issues have expressed one single word of anger over the planned privatization of the family jewels"...more
MAY DAY MARKS INTERNATIONAL WORKERS MOVEMENT
June 19th commemorates the anti-colonial uprising which gave rise to the trade union movement in Trinidad and Tobago and May Day commemorates the international nature of the workers movement...more
NWU TO PICKET MCLEOD ON MAY DAY
The ironic thing is that the Workers Agenda was adopted at a Conference of Shop Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) in April 2010, one month before the elections. The Workers Agenda was presented to the COSSABO by Errol McLeod and Rudy Indarsingh, both of whom are now ministers in the government with McLeod holding the post of Minister of Labour. Some people can’t resist the butter!...more
RIGHTING THE MEANING
Their concept of freedom and democracy is no different from what existed in the dark ages when women did not have the right to vote. It is no different from what existed here before 1946 when the former slaves and persons who did not own property in a certain amount, did not have the right to vote. If the neo-liberal philosophy is to be taken to its logical conclusion, it is surely going lead to social upheaval and civil wars...more
LINING UP FOR THE KILL
What is most interesting about this is how the myth of PNM being a well organised, disciplined and well behaved group has been dispelled. The Penny cabal and the Rowley cabal are dukeing it out with all the 'morality of its own'' Comrade Bitter so often speaks about. Bogus membership, oversubscribed voters list, threats of legal action: has PNM moved to Rienzi Complex?...more
THE STATE OF OUR NATION
The people of Trinbago have a right to a fair share of the resources of this country, which do not belong to the government and the corrupt financiers, and party hacks. The people must intervene or the decay will continue unabated...more
WHO BETTER TO LOOK AFTER THEM?
The economic reality and the well-being of her family demanded that she worked. In order to work she needed someone to look after her little ones; child care that was accessible, safe, perhaps round the clock and affordable. In the absence of such a service who better to look after them than their father...more
THEY MUST GO!
Ms. Alfonso as Chairman of the Bank dismissed concerns over Mr. Rahaman’s suspicious actions as having nothing to do with morals and ethics. Mr. Nath as CEO, by his silence can only be described as a willing accomplice to morals and ethics being irrelevant considerations in this whole scenario, and the AG appears to be complicit to this dismissal of moral law, perhaps blinded by defence of political appointees...more
SECTION 34 RELOADED
What the PP regime really thinks about public procurement is clearly shown by the fact that the NGC/WASA Beetham project expenditure was never listed in the 2013/14 Budget and NGC recently wrote the attorney for a stakeholder who requested access to the Tender Rules and Request For Proposals documents for the project advising that the info is ‘confidential’ and cannot be released.
How they sharing up taxpayers money among their financiers and cronies is confidential!...more
ONE MORE SIP
In Chinese literature/folklore, death is often referred to as "heavier than Mount Thai or lighter than a feather", depending on how one's service to one's fellow man is perceived...more
OUR FATE IS CLEARLY WRITTEN
That conversation just will not begin to happen until 100,000 plus citizens together with members of the protective services take control of Parliament in an act to begin the assertion of the democratic rights of all citizens...more
ORGANISE TO REKINDLE THE FLAME
The higher one goes the harder one has to climb or fall. A case in point if we look at Darryl Brown and Marc Burns. Brown is/was an inherently more gifted athlete but something seems always to go wrong on the big stage. This is a youngster who was rated alongside Usain Bolt as juniors. Marc, on the other hand, simply seemed to have more savvy and would always turn up in the big final...more
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLONIALISM
In the current situation, where the government, has announced plans to divest/privatize all state-owned enterprises, it is the Afro-Trinidadians who are most likely to oppose privatization although some Indians, who are employees of the State, may oppose it as well, because of their changed circumstances...more
ARE YOU A MEMBER OF A PENSION PLAN MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE?
ARE YOU INVOLVED IN NEGOTIATING A NEW PENSION PLAN?
DO YOU WANT A BETER UDERSTANDING OF PENSION PLAN ISSUES?...more
ABOLISH ESSENTIAL INDUSTRIES SCHEDULE
The introduction of the essential industry concept into the law in 1972, as you are fully aware, was a political decision of the PNM government designed to stop the influx of workers away from what they saw as soft trade unions into militant unions like the OWTU and TIWU, which the PNM government viewed as not being in the interest of the transnational corporations and the merchant class whose interests they defended.
The Industrial Relations Act, itself, was enacted during a state of emergency, during which militant trade union leaders were detained...more
PAN IN GRANDE RIVIERE
The many young people in the Steel bands are benefiting tremendously from this Know Your Country Tour embarked on by Pan Trinbago. Outside of the camaraderie, so many other social skills are being developed; it’s nothing short of amazing...more
ANNEX T&T? GIVE IT BACK!
PLEKHANOV: In response to the degradation and humiliation meted out to our colleague I have annexed Trinidad and Tobago.
CHAIRMAN: (rising out of his chair) WHAT!! Are you @#amp;+* crazy? Don't you look at T.V. 6, don't you read the Express newspapers, haven't you heard of Jack Warner and of Gary Griffith? Go and hand it back RIGHT NOW. Have you been socialising with their Prime Minister? Jesus Russian Orthodox Christ!!!...more
KEEP YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!
We know that the recently renewed State Of the Armed Forces agreement (SOFA) gives US military personnel almost unlimited access to Trinidad and Tobago with little or no custom controls. We know of the US strategic alliance with CARICOM that set up joint military operations for regional drug traffic interdiction.
We know of the US Surveillance Drones stationed and operating out of Barbados since 2012. We know that the FBI is stationed in Trinidad and those massive amounts of arms, and military technology has been deposited in Trinidad over the past decade...more
ICONS: FALSE AND TRUE
Now let us be clear why a certain religious leader was calling for Glen to go. It is simply good political sense. With your political stocks so low, with your days in office numbered, you cannot have one of your front liners engaging in such conduct...more
CULTURE: A PRODUCT TO BE SOLD
Ken Howell writes: "A confident people are not afraid of failure. And that is because we have not been able to put a stamp on our way of life and claim it as ours. We believe that our steel band and calypso, our carnival, and soca must be endorsed by entities outside of this country before we can accept it as ours."...more
Me:I would have burnt them near one of the crime hot spots since ganja reportedly makes you sleepy, then hungry or in the case of Bill Clinton: horny. Unlike what happened with the fire that occurred in the Beetham land fill recently, not as many citizens would have complained about the smoke...more
BECKLES-ROBINSON & MONTANO
How shameless of these PNM politicians to prostitute the history of the working class so that they could fool younger labour activists into supporting their latest bid for control of the hog trough…but shame, you see, is a revolutionary sentiment!...more
FORUM OF REAL DEMOCRACY?
Ken Howell writes: " However, it seems to me, some trade unions are not making full use of the online presence which they have available to them and their members do not benefit from the interaction between members which that presence can provide. It can be used as a medium through which unions can provide information on industrial relations issues and also educate members on their rights"...more
THE GOLDEN STRAW
Robin Ramkissoon writes: "So, the big question is how does the JTUM get the masses to participate? I am of the view that the
JTUM first has to call COSSABOs at various union venues with programmes to educate and energise the campaign. COSSABOs must be appraised of all the charges against the Government with facts and arguments to back up the charges"...more
CWU: VSP IS A DIVERSION
...we must expose the deception and diversion that the TSTT Management wants to perpetrate on you, the hardworking, committed and productive employees, who are still working on 2007 Salaries in 2014. We must expose the sly deception that Jhinkoo is trying to slip pass you all as he seeks to satisfy his political masters...more
JTUM CALLS MAY 23RD DEMO
In our discussions we have identified among the many manifestations of problems of one kind or another, that these causes are really rooted in the crisis in governance, the unprecedented level of corruption, the wonton disregard for democratic institutions, the complete lack of accountability to the population and high level of arrogance in public office...more
CHURCH ASKS TEACHER TO RESIGN FOR "INFIDELITY"
We need to put a stop to this unjust and discriminatory practice against this working woman. Who would have thought that we just celebrated International Women’s Day? The question is whether a male teacher or a male leader or pastor in the church would have been asked to resign under the same circumstances...more
ARE WE ON OUR SIDE?
Although the system enacted laws to regulate the conduct of business and to manage the way people relate to and with each other, there is now sufficient evidence available to lead one to conclude, that those laws are frequently circumvented by the rich and powerful who have perfected the art of living outside of the law...more
AWAY WITH THE BEST SONS AND DAUGHTERS"
Therefore, let us rid our discourse of the phrase “best sons and daughters” and examine C.L.R. James’ thesis of “every cook can govern.” The discourse should not be on “the best sons and daughters” but on what type of society we envision that will best serve all the people of Trinidad and Tobago and what political vehicle we want to create to get us there...more
THE BEST AMONG US
History has shown that those who will fit the phrase “the best among us” always emerge in the heat of struggle. But their emergence in such circumstances should not be taken to mean that such persons did not come through the fire of working class education both in theory and working class practice. I am speaking here about comrades who are committed, tried and tested...more
THE UPAGAINSTNESS OF LIFE
So if the powers that be, whom so ever they may be now or in the future, continue to believe that the future of the country can be secured because of our oil and gas and through privatizing the state sector to complete the handover of the family jewels, then, they do not have a clue about what is happening in the world economy...more
THE WEAKENING OF THE WORKING CLASS
Some labour leaders on tasting parliamentary office, consciously or unconsciously redirected their energies into bourgeois politics while spouting working class slogans to enhance their positions of leadership within the labour movement. They became false prophets and betrayed the cause...more
SAMSUNG PAYS $300,000 AT WILL
When the National Workers Union raised the question of this worker's dismissal with Samsung’s regional office in Miami, we had to remind them that in Trinidad and Tobago, employers must have “cause” to dismiss a worker and need to go through proper procedures...more
We are curious to know what is the position of the Deputy President of the Senate, who is supposed to be well aware of the challenges of representing workers, who in the majority, earn well below what his President deems to be a "living wage.”...more
FITUN: WHOSE LIVING WAGE?
OF THE BEST AMONG US AND WORKING CLASS IDENTITY
What credentials, experience, history, and personal attributes must one possess to be considered the best among us? Is it taken for granted that once a comrade is elevated by his Union’s membership or hand-picked by a colleague, he/she is automatically considered among the best?...more
DISMANTLING WORKING CLASS EDUCATION
The Labour movement systematically dismantled Trade Union/Working Class education. So the functionally working class, the task worker and the unemployed have no ideological base and as such have lost their identity (consciousness) of their class value...more
PNM: THE POLITICS OF DECEPTION
1970 was just an obstacle along the pro capitalist road taken by the PNM under the doctor and every successive leader of that party, as well as those of the political parties which replaced the PNM over the years...more
Norris worked tirelessly to ensure that the nation achieved food security and that farmers obtained security of land tenure. Furthermore, we should honour his contribution because Norris was a change agent who advocated a revolutionary transformation of the society...more
DAMNED IF YOU DO
However, when Pan Trinbago makes attempts to become self-sufficient, there is opposition and criticism. When they call on Government to live up to their social responsibility, they are said to be begging cap in hand and doing nothing to help or uplift themselves. Seems like a case of damn if you do damn if you don’t...more
NWU TO MCLEOD:
THE BALL IS IN YOUR COURTWhile the trade union movement has long called for the repeal of the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) as an oppressive, anti-worker piece of legislation that was enacted by a frightened PNM government during a state of emergency in 1972, the question of expedition in issuing recognition claims can be achieved within the ambit of the present law...more
CONTEMPT AND DISRESPECT
Cecil Paul writes: "Well for Mr. Dalip’s information most of the better trained, experienced and qualified practitioners in Industrial Relations historically came from the trade union movement. These comrades serve as shop stewards, branch officers, labour relations officers and executive officers of their unions."...more
THERE ARE SOLUTIONS
The public services, institutions and infrastructure were all developed on the sweat of the people of this country. We paid at the door for the growth of this nation and working people were often the only ones that did.
Privatization and PPP's threaten to roll back and nullify the most important changes that have shaped and defined the progress made...more
SEEGER AND THE STEELBAND
Raffique Shah writes: "I’d soon learn, though, that not only was Seeger a musical genius and a crusader for the downtrodden, but he had developed a deep interest in pan music, which he promoted in the USA in the 1950s."...more
OUR CLASS HAS NEVER HELD POWER!
BIGWU states: "When we talk about privatization, let us understand upfront what is at stake here. The state enterprise sector has assets worth over $120B, with annual revenues of $48B, combined annual profits of $3b and $1.2b in annual dividends to the Treasury. The state enterprise sector has well over 16,000 workers."...more
OPEN LETTER TO VERNON DE LEON
Lloyd Taylor writes:I believe that if any one of our post independence governments had the choice to bequeath the Queen's Park Savannah or Aranguez Savannah for public recreational use or to construct a set of irrelevant buildings on it, the choice for the latter would have been taken...more
NWU: RAMLOGAN ENCOURAGES HARSH AND OPPRESSIVE MEASURES
What really is Attorney General Anand Ramlogan saying to the population with this silly statement and what is he really up to? He probably takes the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago for fools...more
OPEN GREEN SPACES, CRIME AND MENTAL HEALTH
...in the face of compelling and reliable evidence, compiled by eminent, reputable and international institutions, our leaders are adamant on imposing upon us in Tacarigua (even illegally and with bullying tactics) a multi-sport complex...more
NWU: INDEPENDENT BODY SHOULD APPOINT IC JUDGES
"...in the repressive system of industrial relations that exists in T&T, the Industrial Court exercises great power and has the
capacity to significantly shape the industrial relations scenario long into the future."...more
SPORT, SOCIOLOGY & UWI SPEC
"...there is a generation of young Trinis involved in diverse areas of sport: coaching, management, facility management, sport tourism, physiotherapy, sport sociology and psychology, care and prevention of injury, politics and sport. Many of them are young, are qualified or are students in the various fields. And they bring a modern multi-faceted approach to the matter of sports and social development."...more
I BELIEVE I KNOW WHY
"...the degeneration is clear when comparing Eric Williams to Patrick Manning or George Weekes to Errol
McLeod or in my mind, the list of footballers called to the present lot"...more
LAZINESS, COCAINE AND MSGIn the days when arguments were conducted by shouting, especially if you were not winning, or cussin' if your line was being exposed as weak, you could always save yourself by claiming that I read that in the papers. The daily news had some credibility, like the Bible and other "Holy books'' did before the coming of the likes of Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan and Professor Henrik Clarke...and Kevin Baldeosingh...more
BENEATH OUR FEET
Rae Samuel writes: Who made the first calls for independence in the '30's? Who organised to protest the abhorrent social conditions of the day? Who were the main organisers of the anti-apartheid movement in the region? Who led the calls for the nationalisation of our country's resources?...more
VISION WITH ACTION CAN CHANGE THE WORLD
Bryan St. Louis writes: "We all have a vision for a better society, but vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world"...more
by Rawle Boland
by Rawle Boland
BIGWU: REFORM OR IR COLLAPSE!
2014 promises to be a year when the industrial relations climate will be waxing very warm as Trade Unions prepare to push forward in a more resolute manner than before so that workers can enjoy a better quality of life...more
CWU VS. TSTT
We commit to engage in a fierce battle to preserve this principle and we warn the TSTT Management and the Board of Directors that they must be mindful TSTT operates in a fiercely competitive environment and any form of Industrial Instability will not auger well for their competitive advantage...more
In the middle 1970’s as young trade unionists and political activists entering the OWTU head office in San Fernando, we couldn’t miss this large poster picture of Nelson Mandela with barbed wire on his forehead on the wall outside Weekes’ office with a sign “FREE MANDELA at the top, and at the bottom “END APARTHEID NOW”...more
MARY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS
Rae Samuel writes:"What if, instead of going to the manger, Joseph had gone to Palestine General, the then Roman equivalent of Mount Hope? Mary or Jesus would probably have died."...more
MADIBA, MAHATMA AND MAE MAE
These resplendent mourners, who in the words of Fidel Castro, 'have folded up their progressive banners' often would have us believe that our soldiers had given up the battle and in their final years started behaving themselves, accepted bourgeois democracy and would have loved to sit at the round table: the paradigm of "modern, responsible trade unionism...more
TOUSSAINT: PICK YOUR FIGHTS!
Pick your fights, don't play with fire and stay out of the kitchen if you not ready for the heat. Have a clearly defined vision of victory and grab onto it as soon as it presents itself. Being good at retreats can be even more important than being good at attacks. History does not contain many good outcomes for armies that linger or get stuck on the battlefield and the longer the strike, the less the chances of a successful outcome. The data is almost universal on this...more
SKETCHESI first saw McDonald Bailey on his triumphant return to QRC in the 50’s. and was dimly aware, then, of some bacchanal regarding his progress abroad. To my surprise, he explained it for my benefit, when we became colleagues, as the only members of Shell’s Advertising Department at Salvatori Building in POS, under the frenetic and legendary Harold Knox...more
Continued protests by fisher folk against marine seismic surveys by oil companies took another form with a candlelight vigil at the Port of Spain waterfront on Sunday night December 15, 2013...more
FISHER FOLK CONTINUE STRUGGLE
OF ANTI-REPARATIONS AND NEANDERTHALSRawle Boland writes: "their objections rely on the thesis that British slavery in Trinidad was shorter and nicer than elsewhere. This echoes a doctoral thesis, of the kind foreseen by Dr Williams, in 1955, as not worth the paper it is written on, because that argument is tantamount to defining rape by its length and the extent of its violence"...more
MICHAEL'S SONG IS ENDED
Vincent Cabrera writes: "Michael’s song is ended but his melody will linger on. When you are born you cry and the world rejoices. When you die you rejoice and the world cries. A friend may be taken away but the memory of a friendship can never be taken away. Michael remains my, friend, my brother and my comrade"...more
NATUC REBUKES POLICE
ATUC is therefore calling upon the Commissioner of Police to disseminate to all police officers as a matter of urgency, the difference between a peaceful protest and the concept of a public march and/or meeting as is defined within the Summary Offences Act...more
SIGNING THE WRONG THING
Rae Samuel writes:" What is it about Toco? Toco gave us George Weekes, attracted Joe Young in his retirement years and ushered Michael out"...more
REST IN PEACE, MICHAEL ALS
Michael Als played a significant role in the post-independence development of the trade union movement and the progressive movement in Trinidad and Tobago. He came to national notice in the 1960’s with his leadership of the Young Power Movement which was one of the tendencies in the mass movement that shaped the 1970 revolutionary insurrection...more
MC DONALD BAILEY - PIONEER T&T SPRINTER
"..he would insist that the then administration develop an "off-season" cross country programme, something he probably had seen assist in the strength and conditioning of British athletes. While his vision is accepted and respected now, we still do not have one"...more
MANDELA: FREEDOM FIGHTER
For some people Nelson Mandela was just the President of “The Rainbow country.” For Margaret Thatcher and the right-wing conservative forces, Mandela was a terrorist. Still for others, he is seen as a Black Nationalist, yet others see him as the saviour of capitalism in South Africa...more
CLICO/BA WORKERS: HOWAI MUST KEEP PROMISE
NATUC: RE-INSTATE DISMISSED NP WORKERSWe are also calling on all affiliated units of NATUC to show their solidarity and support to the dismissed workers of NP who are presently on the breadline. Let us all ensure that the dismissed workers and their families enjoy a happy Christmas...more
TIWU: TRADE UNIONS MUST PRESSURE DR GOV'T
"...the Dominican ruling class has seized upon the traditional anti-Haitian ideology to further pauperise
those at the bottom of the class structure in order to force these sectors to bear the burden of the economic crisis and to further entrench the policies of neo-
THE CASE FOR REGULATION OF SEISMIC SURVEYSEveryone is now fully aware of the grave concerns of fishermen, forced, precisely because of a lack of consultations, to have to come into the full public gaze and demonstrate peacefully at the POS waterfront. They are reporting up to 70% drop in catch; lasting months after the Seismic Surveys are completed...more
STOP TELLING STORIES ABOUT OUR HISTORY
This distorted analysis suggests an incapacity or unwillingness to appreciate that the denial of access to the Executive Council, then, to Butler, entirely, and his colleagues, initially, was not the result of the colony’s major racial divide, against which Butler laboured. It was due, in fact, to the ability of the then British governor to manipulate the legislative process, albeit remotely, in order to frustrate the signs of an anti-colonial awakening, suspected in Butler’s populist agitation...more
CECIL PAUL: REPEAL SUMMARY OFFENCES ACT!
Comrade Paul made his call at a media conference organised by the Trinidad and Tobago United Fisher Folk...more
FISHER FOLK VOW TO CONTINUE PICKETS
Gary Aboud, spokesperson for Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, has vowed that the fisher folk of Trinidad and Tobago would keep up their picketing activities...more
JTUM BATS FOR INDUSTRIAL COURT JUDGES
...judges/members of the Court are victims of job insecurity created by contract labour, and terminations may well be in violation of ILO Convention No. 158 of 1982 on Termination of Employment, a convention that the Court has on legion occasions upheld as being a key guide to good Industrial Relations practice...more
NWU WINS $200,000 FOR DISMISSED WORKER
In a judgement handed down by the Industrial Court on 17 April, 2013 a dismissed worker of Kreekon Contracting Company Limited was awarded $200,000 in compensation for wrongful dismissal; such compensation to be paid on or before 30th April 2013. The matter was taken to the Industrial Court by the National Workers Union...more
WAITING FOR THE MOVEMENT
Burton Sankeralli writes: "So will the tidal wave leave us mired in an even more criminal structure and nihilist outlook or will it be the beginning of a real revolutionary transformation? Here the bogus obeahman can give a clear and unambiguous answer – It is up to you."..more
CRIME AGAINST THE PEOPLE
Our politicians will steal how many more millions and billions before we the people organise ourselves to put an end to this mass scale robbery? When will we realize that the money they steal is the same money that is needed to diversify our economy and create good jobs for our children and grandchildren?...more
ALL TRINIDAD KNOCKS CARONI GREEN INITIATIVE
The All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union wishes to express its utmost disappointment, apprehension and sadness at the continuous disdain and contempt shown to the Ex-Caroni workers by this Peoples Partnership Government, especially with regard to the Caroni Green Initiative...more
The National Workers Union thinks it is highly absurd that heavily armed and armoured police should be dispatched to terrorise and intimidate fisher folk exercising their freedom to assemble; to express their views and to combine to pursue objectives they perceive as advancing, protecting and defending their interests...more
NWU CONDEMNS WATERFRONT ARRESTS
SKINNING AND GRINNING
The media have us eagerly following the intrigues, scheming and manoeuvrings of the different gangs of confidence tricksters and hustlers known as political parties although which party ends up in government; which party controls which regional corporation has no bearing on the material conditions of existence of working people and the poor...more
RECOGNITION BOARD PICKET ON NOVEMBER 11TH
The Board takes an amazingly long time to determine whether an application for recognition as the Recognised Majority Union for a group of workers is determined. Years pass, while the Board fiddles with issuing a recognition certificate and union organisers and supporters on the workplace are persecuted and dismissed by managements for daring to exercise their right to join a union of their choice...more
LAB NOVEMBER SEMINAR
ON COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
BIGWU CONDEMNS NP DISMISSALS
We can only conclude that this employer deliberately intended to provoke the workers to act so that they can get an excuse to commit the industrial massacre that they did on 21st October 2013. This outrageous conspiracy against the workers was hatched by the employer with a view to reducing the workforce, restructure the operations and privatise the functions to contractors of the ruling party...more
MASS DISMISSALS: LESSON TO LABOUR MOVEMENT!
Cecil Paul writes: Like the workers of Trinidad Cement Ltd., NP workers will be at the mercy of time and Industrial Court hearings which could take years to determine. Meanwhile their lives and that of their families will be seriously affected and will no doubt change for the worse...more
NWU CONDEMNS MASS FIRING OF NP WORKERS
The National Workers Union calls upon the trade union movement to rally around the dismissed workers of NP and their union the Oilfields Workers Trade Union and to demand that the fuel distribution industry must not end up in the hands of parasitic contractors who have contributed nothing to the development of the sector...more
NWU SUPPORTS CALL TO REGULATE SEISMIC SURVEYS
The NWU supports the position that the seismic surveys be regulated by the Environmental Management Authority, and that proper environmental impact assessments (EIA) of seismic surveys be done before any Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) is approved.
These EIA’s must take into consideration the growing body of evidence that suggests that so-called seismic bombing affects the spawning, hearing, feeding, and migration of fish...more
TTUTA SLAMS MINISTRY OVER UNOPENED SCHOOLS
The list includes South East Port-of-Spain Secondary, Pleasantville Secondary, Marabella South Secondary, St. Augustine Secondary, Longdenville Presbyterian, Woodbrook Presbyterian Dinsley/Trincity Government Primary, Rio Claro Hindu, Marac Baptist Primary and Malabar Government Primary, among others...more
REGULATE SEISMIC SURVEYS!
SUPPORT FISHERFOLK DEMO ON OCTOBER 24TH!
Diane Christian-Simmons states: "Despite our lobbying campaign, hand delivered letters and other documents showing the devastating results of seismic surveys found by the limited research done in other countries, but whose findings are so scary, to our prime minister, the EMA and others, they have all chosen to turn a blind eye as no real interest is being taken."...more
CWU SLAMS RAMKHELAWAN
It is a shame that those who championed the cause of Labour whilst they were in the Leadership of their Unions and portrayed themselves as progressive leaders, have suddenly become silent...more
THE STRUGGLE FOR
The National Workers Union (NWU) believes that indexed COLA is an important provision to assist in protecting workers from the ravages of inflation.
Since the 1980’s most groups of workers have lost indexed COLA which has been replaced by a fixed COLA. The NWU believes that unions must once more make indexed COLA a priority provision that must be fought for in negotiations for collective agreements...more
Rae Samuel writes: "Oh it was okay to be a 'community leader' then, URP had not been invented, Prime Ministers did not court our favours and there were no contracts to be handed out."...more
TRADE UNION MOVEMENT MUST FIGHT FOR JOB SECURITY
Job security is the cornerstone upon which workers attempt to improve their standard of living and their quality of life. Without job security, the rights to organise and to bargain collectively stand in grave danger...more
WE'RE GETTING THERE
Burton Sankeralli writes: The people have outright stopped believing. Make no mistake about it, despite the consequences this is in itself a good thing. But these consequences are scary and they will get worse...more
PUBLISH VENEZUELA AGREEMENT!
The political hustlers who infest the state institutions hold that the citizens of the country have no political rights except the right to vote, every now and again. They believe that having voted, citizens should put up and shut up and not involve themselves in civic affairs and not participate in the governing of themselves and their country....more
Rae Samuel writes: "sportpoliomyelitis is a particularly virulent form licking down governing bodies, touring teams and elite sportsmen who have not experienced rebirth in their lives, in line with certain Creeds. In other words there is no immunity that comes with age"...more
SWUTT ON PRIVATISATION
At the COSSABO of September 7th a number of papers were presented dealing with different aspects of privatisation. This website publishes the paper presented by the Steel Workers Union of Trinidad and Tobago(SWUTT) to the COSSABO...more
SANITY IN NUMBERS?
Rae Samuels writes: What is the difference between this shooter's attack on the naval base and the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan? Scale? The more the merrier? If he had taken in twelve others along could they have declared themselves a legitimate attacking force and claimed all the protection of the Geneva accords?...more
FROM THE WORKPLACE TO THE INDUSTRIAL COURT
Twenty five trade unionists from eight unions participated in an intensive two-day interactive seminar and workshop at the headquarters of the Transport and Industrial Workers Union, Laventille on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September 2013...more
ALL TRINIDAD REBUKES MINISTER
The Union is of the view the Minister should know better than to display the arrogance of standing on a platform and blame the ex-Caroni workers for the disdain and contempt with which they have been treated by the governments past and present...more
HURRICANE OR TSUNAMI?
Rae Samuel writes: "At the end of the day the financial weathermen/forecasters decide where we workers/pensioners will be hit, how hard and at best, it seems, we just try to ride out the economic storm. Being a class society where power resides with an elite, the impact is less severe for the ruling class, since shelters are provided in the form of tax breaks and incentives (subsidies by any other names)."...more
BIGWU ON PRIVATISATION
At the COSSABO of September 7th a number of papers were presented dealing with different aspects of privatisation. This website publishes the paper presented by the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) to the COSSABO...more
NWU ON PRIVATISATION
On Saturday 7th September 2013, the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) held its third Conference of Shop Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) to deal with the government’s ongoing privatisation campaign.
The first was held on March 2nd 2013 at Cipriani Labour College and the second at Communication Workers Union Hall on March 23rd. At the COSSABO of March 23rd a resolution was adopted which sketched a road map for a campaign to be launched by the JTUM to disrupt and derail the government’s privatisation programme.
At the COSSABO of September 7th a number of papers were presented dealing with different aspects of privatisation. This website publishes the paper presented by the National Workers Union to the COSSABO...more
JTUM WARNS GOV'T
"...evidence has shown throughout the world that privatization has led not only to the drop in service of the enterprises but a decline in the social and economic fortunes of the citizens where these programmes have been implemented. This is true for countries of the North and South."...more
SUBSIDIES OR INCENTIVES? TAKE YOUR PICK!
Sylvan Wilson writes: "If this so-called subsidy is removed what do we expect the haulers who transport food, medical supplies, clothing, building materials will do?
Even if it is phased out it simply means that the inevitable will be delayed. If the problem is regressivity, i.e. it favours the rich, the solution is to correct that problem not to eliminate the benefit bearing in mind the consequences of its elimination"... more
N.U.D.E.: GOV'T MUST MAKE THE SPACE
Government is obligated to protecting domestic workers from violence and abuse, they must also allow us to speak for ourselves and participate in all decision making bodies that make decisions on behalf of domestic workers as we are the most representative body for domestic workers in Trinidad and Tobago...more
THE DISMANTLING OF NP
Gerry Kangalee writes: " It is logical to assume that that the road tank wagons are going to be more and more controlled by contractors.
It is also not beyond the realms of possibility that the Caroni facility, when completed, will be handed over to some private company (which is the mantra of the government as dictated by international capital) which has nothing to do with NP and most importantly, which will have a minuscule workforce, when compared to what exists at NP and which will not be a unionised workforce"...more
CABRERA: HOW INDEPENDENT ARE WE?
Vincent Cabrera, the President of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union issued the following statement on the occasion of T&T's fifty first anniversary of independence:...more
BEFORE I FORGET
Apparently the Ministry's major task is to put sporting development, with its emphasis on youth, 'at risk'. Hoops and hurdles for life; 'summer' camps; 'life skill' programmes; that is it from here on in...more
SUMMARY OFFENCES ACT
While it is generally accepted that no right is unlimited and that there will be circumstances under which rights will be circumscribed, freedom of assembly is circumscribed, indeed suffocated, by an old colonial ordinance called the Summary Offences Act...more
WHAT IS NP UP TO?
Cecil Paul writes: "what is NP’s intention and why their irrational behaviour? Are the Board and Management of T&T National Petroleum Marketing Company Ltd. provoking the workers to institute large-scale retrenchment and preparing the company for privatization?"...more
THE HYPOCRITICAL OATH
Kathleen Davis writes: "Doctors must also bear in mind that workplaces are never physically examined, as they do not get ill in the same way as humans.
They need to note, notwithstanding the fees they receive, or may be due to collect from an employer, the persons to be examined are workers. While they are workers, they are first and foremost human-beings, who happen to also be patients. These are the ones they owe their professional and ethical commitment and human compassion to"...more
NWU TO PICKET RECOGNITION BOARD
The executive committee of the National Workers Union (NWU) took a decision on August 11th 2013 to launch a picket campaign of the Recognition, Registration and Certification Board to draw attention to the injustices being carried out against workers who exercise their right to join a trade union of their choice...more
We are celebrating the life of Clotil Walcott, our heroine and highlight the work she began, that we continue, to seek a better life for domestic workers and other low income workers who are predominantly women. We are also using this platform to call on Government to ratify ILO Convention 189...more
HURDLES FOR LIFE?
Very soon the circling of the corbeaux and the Ministerial braying of the jackass will pass. In its wake will follow very little serious organized programmes...more
CWU: 3% FOR WORKERS; OBSCENE BONUS PAYMENTS FOR BOSSES
This undeserved Bonus Payment is being made, once again, at the same time that the Management has refused to budge from their ridiculous and disrespectful offer of a three percent (3%) wage increase for the three (3) year period 2008-2010 for both the Junior and Senior Staff Bargaining Unit Employees...more
A COLD DAY IN MOSCOW
Rae Samuel writes: "Kelly has been charged, repeat, has been charged with a doping offence. The nature and scale of the offence is not known. But being accused of a doping violation in track and field is virtually the equivalent of being charged with a sex crime. Also reports of her leaving Moscow give her an "Edward Snowden" image, a fugitive in full flight."...more
THAT IS CLASS UNITY
Cecil Paul writes: "This issue of more money for members of Parliament has exposed the selfishness, insensitivity, contempt and disregard our politicians have for the poor and working people of our country. The very people who elected them and gave them power are ignored and disrespected."...more
NWU KNOCKS GREEDY POLITICIANS
The National Workers Union (NWU) calls on the working people of Trinidad and Tobago to take note that in a country where the top earning 10% of the population gets more than 14 times the income the bottom earning 10% gets, those who pretend to represent the interests of the people in the parliament seem to be more concerned in accruing public funds than in serving the people...more
HUZANGA? GOBAR? TAKE YOUR PICKRae Samuel writes: "I imagine in the coming weeks, leading up to the local government elections, we will all have to 'drive' very carefully, because PNM, UNC, COP, MSJ and IPL will be using these political roads. What will they be downloading? Gobar fuh so!"...more
Simon Day writes: "Will the IPL repeal the IRA, end contract labor, stop privatization of state enterprises, end government public/private partnership, jail ministers for corruption, transform Laventille and other depressed communities, allow unionization of all workers, implement a living wage, nationalize the petroleum industry, implement a new type of governance, create structures for participatory democracy? The answer is no."...more
FINAL DRAFT IRAC REPORT PUBLISHED
WE ARE THE OWNERS OF OUR NATION
Bryan St. Louis writes: "...we must however show political maturity and reject the politics of those traditional Political Parties, whose leaders are focused on representing their own class interests and filling their deep pockets."...more
CHAGPEST - THE TRAGEDY
Lloyd Taylor writes: "Where I differ with Samad is that the UNC is somehow not part of the problem and is in any significant way different from JAW in feeling, political instincts, or nobility of purpose. In response the UNC incumbents campaigned on the basis of a proprietary claim on the bodies, minds and assets of the Indo Trinidadian people in the Chaguanas West constituency.
RELEASE US FROM OUR IGNORANCE
Concerned trade unionist/student writes:"if there is just cause to get rid of the Director, out with it, let us all know what it is. Let us all be a part of the discussion."...more
TEDDY HAD A PROFUND EFFECT
Gerry Kangalee writes: "We were at a critical juncture: young, ignorant, arrogant, full of energy, steeled by the insurrectionary struggle, willing to tackle new ideas and capable of going in any direction.
Teddy was to have a profound effect on the ideological direction many of us took and the political orientation and organisational process upon which we embarked...more
TEDDY MADE HIS MARK
Rae Samuel writes: "He had many public personas: steelband activist, trade unionist, author, revolutionary politician, student leader. My recall will centre on the teachers movement that saw the formation of TTUTA and his contribution as part of a ''dedicated, organized political cadre'' within the movement."...more
DINING AT THE WRONG TABLE
Rae Samuel writes: "Now I know no trade union leader from the JTUM has so far campaigned for our fellow PNM diners at the "Wrong Table", but since this is a "united front” couldn't any one call for implementation of the "Workers Agenda" during this "significant election battle" which has spawned a brand new political party?...more
HOPE HAS COME TO THE PSA
Team Phoenix states: "we call upon each and every member to ensure that the union is organised at their workplaces through the election of Staff Sides and Section Committees, and further, to ensure that representatives regularly account for their work, especially in their roles as representatives to the General Council and Conference of the Association.
It is only through such activity that ordinary members may exercise authority over the Executive. This is our only real guarantee against renegade leadership serving other interests than ours"...more
1989 General Strike
WE WENT TO THE WORKERS
Cecil Paul writes: "If some labour leaders want political office, they must do so under the umbrella of their party - the MSJ. If they want to form another "Partnership", this time with the PNM, having already being taken for a nonexistent ride by the PP, they must do so with the MSJ and not prostitute the trade union movement to achieve their ends."...more
TSTT WITHHOLDS SALARIES
Any amateur practitioner of Industrial Relations would tell you that you cannot take punitive action while you are investigating the circumstances that gave rise to the workers refusal to work in such conditions...more
YANKING THE CHAIN
Rae Samuel writes: "Complaining about how someone else uses his or her own Press is like Brazil, champions of world football for decades, complaining about the schedule for cricket's Future tours programme"...more
CWU DEFENDS MEDIA WORKERS
Bryan St. Louis writes: "the Communication Workers’ Union publicly denounces the blatant, obscene and brazen interference in the operations of the media by the People’s Partnership Government which culminated in the recent direct attack on media workers at the Trinidad Guardian Newspaper"...more
WHAT FREEDOM? WHOSE PRESS?
The media are part of the gayelle in which various class positions are fought out. But that struggle takes place within the context of the dominance of the capitalist class. The media is increasingly controlled by conglomerate capital. The Guardian is part of the print, radio television and internet section of the McAL conglomerate....more
WELCOME THE DISCOURSE
Dr. Godfrey Vincent writes:" It is heartening to see comrades having a discourse on the trade union movement and its position vis-à-vis the two political parties. I am of the view that Gerry Kangalee wrote his piece not so much as to criticize the leadership of the JTUM but to begin a discourse as to the independence of the movement"...more
WE HAVE NO PERMANENT FRIENDS
Vincent Cabrera writes: "There are those who have criticized us for not aligning ourselves with the PNM. There are those who complain that we have done so. For the record, whether you chose to believe it or not, there is no political alliance with the PNM"...more
OWNING THE PAN SPACE
Brother Scobie writes:"Yet, here in the land of its birth the powers that be seem unable to grasp and understand the lethal power of this Steel Pan Instrument, because, if we did, we would not be here today to discuss the topics chosen for this symposium. These topics have been exhausted over the years with no follow up or implementations of suggestions and recommendations"...more
Gerry Kangalee writes:"We are saying loud and clear those labour leaders who made love in a UNC bed and just as easily are preparing to make love in a PNM bed better re-examine what class interests they are promoting and what policies and programmes they stand for. In a phrase they better pinch themselves!"...more
DEMOCRACY IS NOT A GIFT FROM ANY POLITICAL PARTY
Joseph Remy states: "Democracy is not a gift from any political party nor is participation in governance a favour to offer to the electorate. We are learning more that it is our role to demand accountability in public life and to apply pressure when those who we have put to govern go astray"...more
ORGANISED LABOUR MUST DEPEND ON ITSELF!
BEWARE OF THE PNM!
The struggle must not be restricted to that of “good governance”. The power structure in the country is based on corruption and inequality, exploitation and oppression.
The watchmen for the system are a bunch of thieves – kleptocrats! It is a vicious capitalist system and we cannot depend on political parties that defend the interests of capital to seek the interests of workers...more
NWU TELLS HOWAI: PUBLISH SETTLEMENT FIGURES!
Dave Smith writes: "You made reference to “interim settlements” for the period 2011-2013. Collective agreements are settled when unions and managements sign off on the texts which are then registered in the industrial court and become legally binding documents. What are these “interim settlements” and with whom have they been made?"...more
ALLTRINIDAD WILL NOT MARCH WITH PNM
...as a matter of principle the All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union will not at this point in time; take part in any March, in which officials of the Peoples National Movement (PNM) will be attending.
Mr. Maharaj is categorically stating that the callous and brutal shutdown of the Sugar Industry without any proper mechanisms in place to alleviate the subsequent hardship of thousands of persons dependant on the Industry and the treatment of the Ex-Caroni workers at the hands of the PNM was tantamount to an abuse of power and the blatant discrimination perpetuated on one segment of the population of our Nation...more
TTUTA PICKETS IN TOBAGO
The General Council decided to:
• Call on all teachers in Tobago to picket the office of the DEYAS at Dutch Fort, Scarborough, on Tuesday July 02, 2013, beginning at 12 noon;
• Call on all teachers in Tobago, supported by members of the General Council and other teachers from throughout Trinidad and Tobago, to picket the offices of the Chief Administrator and the Chief Secretary at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex, on Wednesday July 03, 2013, beginning at 12 noon;
• Hold further pickets of these offices on subsequent days, as deemed necessary;...more
CONTRACT WORKERS MUST SUPPORT JULY 5TH DEMONSTRATION
The NWU is opposed to the government’s continuing programme of elimination of permanent jobs in the public service in favour of contract labour. Most new jobs in the public service and state enterprise sectors are not permanent jobs...more
NWU WINS FOR FIRED LAW CLERK
Dave Smith, General Secretary of the National Workers Union recently defended a law clerk who was unjustly dismissed by her employer...more
Petrotrin, the integrated state-owned oil company, has issued letters offering Voluntary Separation of Employment (VSEP) to workers in the Industrial Relations, Effective Business and Learning and Development Departments...more
WORKERS MUST PARTICIPATE IN THEIR OWN AFFAIRS
The task is not to sneak in to the neo-colonial parliament on the backs of one or the other corrupt, capitalist-financed political party but to patiently build a mass movement through working class education, agitation and direct action. When such a movement is built and entrenches itself among the masses, the question of power will become a live issue...more
MINISTERS TEWARIE AND HOWAI MUST GET THEIR STORIES STRAIGHT
The National Workers Union calls upon the government to cease circulating disinformation in the public domain in an effort to confuse and mamaguy members of the public who may not be conversant with the industrial relations process...more
PAINT SAN FERNANDO BLUE!
THELMA WILLIAMS DIES
At age 19, unemployed and with only 6 cents in her name, Thelma Williams joined the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union. She had met the first mother of the OWTU, Daisy Crick, housewife turned militant OWTU activist in San Fernando on 7 February 1938 who without hesitating signed her up in her “copy book”...more
REMEMBERING WALTER RODNEY
On June 19th all roads will lead to Fyzabad. As the Labour movement makes this historical pilgrimage, let us remember Walter Rodney: by returning to the communities and ground with the unemployed, the marginalised, the oppressed, the dispossessed, the non-unionised, the under-employed, and the forgotten...more
STRIKE AS LONG AS YOU WANT!
The Government is among the spectators enjoying the bludgeoning of a voiceless workforce by a trans-national giant. Will OAS workers be beaten into submission or rise to the occasion to get their just due?...more
NWU CONDEMNS SALE OF VALPARK; ATLANTIC PLAZA
The sale of these assets have, in fact, redounded to the benefit of the very people, who played fast and loose with the prospects of hundreds of thousands of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and other Caricom nations and has resulted in considerable pain and grief to the entire country...more
OAS ATTACKS SINGLE MOMS; PROBATIONERS!The workers have recognised that the Company is targetting the most vulnerable workers among them, single mothers and probationary workers, using intimidatory tactics to beat them into submission and acceptance of the Company's slavery-inspired terms and conditions...more
HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS TWENTY - TWENTY
Lloyd Taylor writes:"In those 40 years since 1970 our politics is arguably in a worse state despite the vast input of time, manpower and energy dedicated to change by the generations that came to adulthood on the thresholds of the 1970 upheavals and between then and 1976."...more
NOT A NEW SYSTEM OF SLAVERY
Slavery was an institution of dehumanisation through the use of cruelty and cultural destruction. The enslaved became property that could be bought and sold. Further, not a single enslaved asked to, nor voluntarily came to the west...more
AN UNEVEN BATTLE
Workers who have been performing above and beyond their pay range to see the highway reach completion will take the sober approach of giving the Company and the current Government of Trinidad and Tobago the volume of labour they have chosen to pay for...more
PUBLISH STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT NOW!
It is interesting that the Prime Minister went out of her way to insist that the US was not going to establish a military base in T&T and that there were provisions favourable to T&T in the SOFA.
The National Workers Union insists that the only way to get rid of the speculation and to put uneasy minds to rest is to publish the Status of Forces Agreement...more
SELLING THE PEOPLE
THEIR OWN SHARES
"...the National Workers Union publishes a video featuring the President of the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU), Vincent Cabrera, outlining the history of the nationalized finance sector and arguing the case against its divestment."...more
WHITE TRINIDAD SHOULD NOT BE LEFT OUT
Professor Godfrey Vincent writes: In its attempt to re-enact Indian Arrival Day, I do hope that the Ministry of Diversity and Social Integration uses a diverse population to portray this historical event...more
OWTU: FOREIGN TROOPS GET OUT OF HAITI
Far from promoting peace, the UN troops are committing systematic violations of the most basic human rights and introduced the scourge of cholera, which has already killed more than 8,000 and sickened over 600,000...more
What message is the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration sending to our two major groups? Are they saying the Afro Trinbagonians were enforcers for Indian Indentureship? Is this not only inaccurate and misleading but divisive and malicious? Does this false depiction not help to create Separation instead of Integration?...more
IN PRAISE OF HAMPTON GAMES
Rae Samuel writes: "I did a bit of translating for a local television station in 2010. I have noted Venezuela is not here this year. I am not taking the blame for that one. More likely it is the political situation there at the moment. My Spanish cannot be THAT bad...more
WHO WAS KIRKLON PAUL?
Kirklon together with Guy Harewood, Brian Jeffers, Beverly Jones, Andy Thomas, Michael Lewis and many other former students formed an armed guerrilla group named the National United Freedom Fighters (NUFF) and engaged in armed struggle against racism and exploitation in the country.
Many of these youths including Guy Harewood, Brian Jeffers, John Bedeau, Beverly Jones were killed by the then Flying Squad led by Randolph Burroughs. In fact the country was in a State of War between the Revolutionary Movement and the State...more
EXECUTE ME NOW!
"Your eyes go bad, your teeth go bad, your skin goes bad from the lack of sunlight. The guards take a sick delight in seeing you waiting to be executed. I no longer wish to give them the pleasure"...more
NIB LABOUR REPS MUST OPPOSE PRIVATISATION OF FCB, TTMB!
The National Workers Union urges the JTUM to develop a strategy in consultation with the labour representatives on the NIB Board to attempt to derail, delay and prevent the privatisation of FCB and TTMF/HMB by utilising all the mechanisms available to them as board members of the NIB, TTMF and HMB...more
WHO HAVE MORE CORN...!
Gerry Kangalee writes: "While the government may promise no loss of jobs as part of the divestment deal the new owners will not bind themselves to that when they take control.
When Powergen took over T&TEC’s generating assets in 1994, there was a promise of no retrenchment. Seventy workers lost their jobs. Since the privatisation of ISCOTT in 1994, approximately five hundred and fifty jobs have disappeared. A promise is a comfort to a fool!"...more
HIGHWAY WORKERS RESIST OAS EXPLOITATION
Wages are way below industry standards. Skilled workers are paid less than government daily paid labourers. There were grouses over vacation pay and the length of the probationary period.
Workers are arbitrarily reclassified and forced to work outside of the classification for which they signed up and the performance appraisal system is said to be slipshod, subjective and liable to be used to discriminate and intimidate workers...more
NWU ATTENDS MIGRATION WORKSHOP
Discussions centred on critical issues facing migrant workers such as their rights to Union representation, equal treatment, occupational safety and health conditions, fair wages and other benefits such as an eight hour day, accrued retirement benefits and other fair benefits extended to workers of the host country...more
RODNEY FAMILY SAYS THANKS
The Rodney family would like to thank everyone who expressed their commitment to human rights and social justice by opposing the award. The solidarity and continuing efforts to uphold the legacy of Walter Rodney are greatly appreciated...more
IN LIMBO FOR FIVE YEARS
Clico and British American Insurance workers have become “silent victims and casualties of the obscene and runaway mismanagement that has been exposed in the Colman Enquiry, and which was presided over by multi-millionaire tycoons Lawrence Duprey and Andre Monteil and their trough-feeding cohorts at CL Financial.”...more
THE ESOP ILLUSION
Cecil Paul writes; "ESOP plans in their varying applications are nothing more than a management tool and a strategy to pacify workers. It effectively keeps out Unions and in cases where there is a Union considerably weakens the Union and gives workers a false sense of perceived ownership and control when in fact the companies remain under the control of the ruling business elites."...more
SHAKE OFF YOUR FEAR! JOIN A TRADE UNION!
Workers are exploited in both the public and private sectors and this is “blamed” on the “difficult economic times” we live in today. Well even a glance at history will never reveal a “good” economic time when employers ever voluntarily gave just remuneration to their employees; every benefit paid was won by struggle!...more
SOUTH AFRICA DEFERS BURNHAM AWARD
...the South African government has deferred granting a national award (the Oliver Tambo Award) to the late Guyana President, Forbes Burnham, "in the wake of pressure from several quarters"...more
DUKE SUSPENDS EXEC. MEMBERS AGAIN
The suspensions, the third in less than two years, were reportedly imposed on Monday 29th April 2013 after the High Court ruled in their favour on Friday 26th April in the matter of their suspension on January 17th 2013...more
NWU SALUTES MAY DAY
The workers put forward demands for an 8 hour working day, better health conditions, for social legislation, for equal suffrage for men and women, for greater political and industrial freedom and better conditions of livelihood and as a protest against militarism and war. Workers throughout the world began to celebrate May 1st as a day of international workers solidarity and continue to do so...more
GOV'T AIDS EXPLOITATION OF FAST FOOD WORKERS
If Prestige Holdings is losing or unable to attract workers, it suggests that the conglomerate needs to check its working conditions and not focus only wringing out super profits at the expense of the workers...more
NWU SLAMS AWARD TO BURNHAM
Burnham maintained power through rigging elections and maintained it through a policy of racist discrimination and oppression of working people and through the use of thuggery and violence against political opponents...more
CORRUPTION HAVE NO PARTY CARD!
They view the exposure of one corrupted politico as an opportunity and a ’cleansing’ exercise and a refocus by the public away from their own corruption onto a colleague or another party. George Weekes used to say: “corruption have no party card.”...more
JACK GONE! JACK DEY!
Warner didn’t invent the system. Neither did Boysie Prevatt. Political parties enter government with the objective of looting the treasury and utilising public funds for the enrichment of individuals who occupy high position or who have financed the election campaigns of political parties. Jack gone! Jack dey!...more
AFRO-VENEZUELANS AGAINST RIGHT WING VIOLENCE
We call on organized nuclei and to the people in general of Afro-Venezuelan and Afro-descendant communities across the country to defend the gains of the Bolivarian process and reject the fascist and racist aggression led by Primero Justicia, Alianza Bravo Pueblo, Democratic Action, COPEI and other members of the MUD...more
TTUTA'S RED DAY
In a media release issued on April 15th 2013, Peter Wilson, General Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) called on teachers to make Friday 19th April RED DAY...more
NORRIS DEONARINE IS...
The National Foodcrop Farmers Association (NFFA) held a memorial to mark the Second Anniversary of the death of Norris Deonarine on April 6th 2013 at the Norris Deonarine Northern Wholesale Market in Macoya...more
TTUTA DEFENDS LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS
TTUTA reassures the national community that the overwhelming majority of teachers are hardworking and professional despite their difficult working conditions and all the assorted tribulations.
They care for their students, protect, nurture and inspire them, foster values of honesty and creativity, enable them to develop their individual talents and engender community and national pride...more
OWTU ON TOBAGO BLACKOUT
The OWTU views the Minister of Energy’s misinformed statement as malicious, unfortunate and disturbing.
It was designed to protect his friends in senior management at T&TEC while pointing fingers at the workers. We will not facilitate the Minister in collaboration with T&TEC’s management creating scapegoats while failing to identify the true events of Good Friday morning...more
NWU: KAMLA DOES NOT SPEAK FOR US!
The National Workers Union will not be hypocritical and shed crocodile tears for one who proudly propagated naked capitalist exploitation, was a sworn enemy of the trade union movement and pursued policies which devastated the living standard and quality of life of millions of working people in Britain and provided a template for the inflicting of misery on billions around the world...more
NWU RECOGNITION UPDATESComrade Dave Smith, General Secretary of the National Workers Union (NWU) provides an update on two applications for recognition the NWU has made to the Recognition Board...more
CWU DEFENDS MEDIA WORKERS
The Communication Workers’ Union stands in solidarity with all members of the Media and the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago and will support any action by the Media Association in the defence of its members...more
COSSABO AGREES ON CAMPAIGN AGAINST PRIVATISATION
Union representatives from across the trade union movement gathered at the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Hall on Henry Street in Port of Spain on Saturday March 23rd 2013 to develop an action plan to beat back and derail the government’s privatisation policy...more
MODERN DAY SLAVERY
Brother Scobie writes: "Why do the employers see the workers only as a tool of production? The worker is a human being who has challenges to address outside of the work place, and is only using his/her employment status as a means of meeting and satisfying some of these challenges of life"...more
CWU HITS THE STREETS
On Friday March 22nd 2013, the Communications Workers' Union (CWU) organised a picket demonstration outside the Trinidad and Tobago parliament in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The picket was supported by unions of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM)...more
SUITS FOR LIFE
Rae Samuel writes: "If I were a tailor and you were a journalist, former member of the boxing board, newspaper editor, chairperson of a political party in partnership, just about anyone within reach, I would be sewing court clothes for all ah all yuh"...more
TEACHERS OR POLITICAL FOOTBALLS?
On Wednesday March 20th 2013, the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers' Association (TTUTA) staged a picket demonstration at the Ministry of Education in Port of Spain.
The picket was aimed at urging the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) to stop the undue delay and ensure that 2010 graduates of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) are upgraded from Assistant Teacher positions. After two and a half years these teachers have not been upgraded to Teacher I status.
Rae Samuel, National Equality Officer of the National Workers Union, speaks to three of the teachers affected by this blatant discrimination...more
CWU SLAMS SOLDIER POLICE BILL
The CWU joins with all the other Civil Society organisations in condemning this move and calls on the Government to withdraw this potentially dangerous legislation and engage in the process of Social Dialogue to arrive at a more sensible approach to stem the rampaging crime wave...more
NWU: DEFEND OWTU! THE IRA MUST GO!
Far from promoting “good industrial relations” the Industrial Relations Act shifts the industrial relations terrain decisively in favour of the employers. It is a weapon of class domination and is used as a battering ram to assault and weaken the trade union movement in the ongoing class struggle...more
THE BOLIVARIAN RE-IGNITION
Burton Sankeralli writes: "Yet Caracas as problem is also possibility as it is here the world-to-come first decisively touches and confronts reality as it is. Future commentators in all likelihood will say that Caracas was the first battlefield in the Great Transition"...more
TTUTA CONDEMNS CAC FARCE
Peter Wilson, General Secretary of TTUTA writes: "TTUTA again expresses its dismay at the rushed, reckless implementation of the ill-planned Continuous Assessment Component (CAC) of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA), even as all students in Standard 5 did the Final Assessment in Creative Writing today March 14, 2013 in over five hundred (500) primary schools throughout the country."...more
OIL IN TURMOIL
On the morning of March 13th 2013, workers at the Petrotrin refinery in Pointe-A-Pierre, members of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union, gathered outside the gates and rallied at the roundabout instead of reporting for work...more
JTUM: THREE WAYS TO ADVANCE WOMEN'S RIGHTS
...the women of the Joint Trade Union Movement wish to highlight three significant areas which would greatly benefit from your intervention:
1. Women’s ability to balance work and family life
2. Women’s rights at the workplace
3. Ensuring “worker” status for Domestic Workers...more
NWU: GOV'T MUST COME CLEAN ON CLICO
1) The amount of money spent to date on Clico. This should include initial and operating costs: bailout, legal, consultancy, costs to policy holders etc.
2) Outstanding issues that remain to be dealt with e.g. court and ongoing procedural matters. What are the projected costs to conclude these matters?
3) A list of all of the assets that have been acquired and also any that have been disposed of.
4) A detailed breakdown of all revenues earned from the operations including dividends, interest, rents, sales etc.
5) A list of all costings, valuations, analyses etc done on the assets.
6) Decisions government has taken in relation to the assets....more
CARRINGTON BAN LIFTED
The decision of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to debar TTUTA’s 2nd Vice President, Mr. Orville Carrington from entry into the compound of the Head Office of the MOE has been revoked.
As well, the allegation of verbal abuse of a junior female employee of the MOE some two (2) months ago by Mr. Carrington has been found to be groundless and, in fact, a case of mistaken identity...more
CUBA SAYS FAREWELL
It was with profound and searing grief that our people and the Revolutionary Government learned about the decease of President Hugo Chávez Frías and are therefore preparing to pay a heartfelt and patriotic tribute to him, for he will go down in history as a Hero of Our America...more
TTUTA: LIFT CARRINGTON BAN!
Peter Wilson states: "TTUTA will not allow Dr. Gopeesingh or any Minister of Education to deny or erode its rights as a trade union in defence of its members. TTUTA will reject any attempt by the Minister or his agents to attempt to ‘set up’ its 2nd Vice President. TTUTA will continue to vigorously and fearlessly defend its members and promote education."...more
HRM DEFENDS HRC REPORT
The Highway Reroute Movement appeals to the Prime Minister:"We appeal to you to forbid the state officials concerned from attempting to further besmirch the review process, the review, and the writers of the review. The public deserves clarity, transparency, accuracy and fairness. We encourage you to convince state officials at NIDCO, the Ministry of Works and the government at large to support and defend this important document."...more
NWU STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH TTUTA
NWU calls upon all those who defend trade union rights and democracy to stand in solidarity with TTUTA and warns the government that the trade union movement will not stand idly by and allow the rights it has won through struggle to be undermined by any transient government with fascist tendencies...more
TTUTA PICKETS MINISTRY ON MONDAY
The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) has organised a picket at the office of the Ministry of Education on Monday March 04, 2013 at 10:00am.
The purpose of the picket is to show complete dissatisfaction regarding the Minister of Education's order to debar 2nd Vice President Orville Carrington's entry into the Mininstry's office.
END RECOGNITION NIGHTMARE!
National Workers Union's General Secretary, Dave Smith, explains why it is vital that the trade union movement campaign for reform of the process through which workers win union recognition...more
MINISTRY STARVES PRIMARY SCHOOLS OF SUPPLIES
The National Primary Schools Principals Association (NAPSPA) is forced to bring to the attention of the national community the distressing situation that has been existing, and continues to exist, in all primary schools in Trinidad for some time now.
Schools have not received any school supplies from the Ministry of Education since September 2011...more
TRIBUTE TO ASTILL ALLEYNE
Gregory Rousseau writes: Here was a man, totally committed to ensuring that the mas continued to exist with substance and meaning, and not the plastic, empty, repetitive nonsense what I describe as the bikini and fries trash...more
NWU WELCOMES JTUM COSSABO ON PRIVATISATION
The NWU is of the strong conviction that just as the challenge facing the labour movement over the last two years has been that of breaking the government-imposed wage cap, the challenge facing the labour movement now is that of beating back and stopping in its tracks the government’s stated policy position of divestment/privatisation...more
CAUSE OF DEATH BY MAJORITY VOTE!
Rae Samuel writes:"...this is a most opportune time to press for social change. You do not have to convince anyone that the social order has broken down. I think far too many "leaders" are shying away from the task of creating a new social order which is infinitely more challenging and complex than condemning the old one."...more
IN PRAISE OF CHAVEZ
Venezuelan Ambassador, Coromoto Godoy states:"The Patriotic Civic Military Rebellion of 1992, in which approximately two thousand three hundred (2,300) young soldiers were led by Hugo Chavez, inspired by the deep thought and emancipation of Simon Bolivar, to raise the awareness of the people marked the beginning of the XXI (21st ) century in Venezuelan history. On that day Bolivar returned to stay."...more
HOOPS AND HURDLES FOR LIFE
Rae Samuel writes:"Maybe I should go under my bed, pull out my spikes and run as far and as fast as I can before I throw up on some innocent bystander."...more
THE NFFA STORY
Progressives, students, researchers and all those interested in the true history of the mass movement in T&T should famiiarise themselves with this story...more
A POLICED STATE
Burton Sankeralli writes: "...when white people do it to white people it’s called fascism, when white people do it to black people that is called colonialism – or is it the civilizing mission? When black people do it to white people is terrorism. But what do we call it when white people set up black people to do it to black people? Democracy?"...more
SCOBIE: WE HAVE THE IDEAS
Rae Samuel interviews Michael "Brother Scobie" Joseph, President of the Southern Marines Steelband Foundation of Marabella Trinidad, on his election as the Chairman of the South Central Region of Pan Trinbago. The interview took place in December 2012...more
BIGWU: WE MUST FACE 2013 BOLDLY
Vincent Cabrera states: "we call on the trade union movement to intensify the campaign for reform of labour legislation. Trinidad and Tobago continues to have on its statutes many items of legislation which can only be described as archaic"...more
CWU: CLEAR THE AIR AT TSTT!
John Julien, Secretary General of the Communications Workers' Union, writes: The Communication Workers’ Union would like to publicly express its grave concern over the apparent Leadership Crisis that is bedevilling the State Enterprise, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT)...more
TTUTA REVEALS FINAL YEAR SALARIES
Negotiations began in March 2010 (fifteen months after the beginning of the contract period) and teachers had to resort to embarking on days of “rest and reflection” and huge demonstrations to push the negotiations forward in the face of intransigence by the Chief Personnel Officer which resulted in the negotiations taking way much longer than they should...more
TIWU: HANDS OFF MTS; SETTLE TEACHERS’ NEGOTIATIONS NOW!
TTUTA DEMO CANCELLED!more
DOMESTIC WORKERS CALL FOR RESPECT
On December 12th 2012, the National Union of Domestic Employees (NUDE) held a function at its headquarters in Arima to sensitise the public to the situation facing domestic workers and to gather support for its call for the government to ratify ILO Convention 189 which deals with rights and protection for domestic workers...more
NUDE: RATIFY CONVENTION 189 NOW!
We are calling all women and men who do Domestic Work whether paid or unpaid, to join us in the call for Government to Ratify the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work For Domestic Workers...more
4OTH ANNIVERSARY OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH CUBA
CWU CONVENTION TACKLES PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
"...the owners of capital change their skin like the proverbial chameleon; we are now seeing the specter of privatization and divestment now cloaked in another masquerade, PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS"...more
TEACHERS TO MARCH ON
The General Council of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teahers Association has scheduled a massive protest march for Monday December 17th 2012, the first Monday after the clo
The General Council has also advised teachers to prepare for days of rest and reflection during the first week of the next school term, beginning on January 7th 2013.
PSA's ROBINSON, BEDASSIE ON REINSTATEMENT
Rosanna Robinson and Rendy Bedassie spoke to Comrade Rae Samuel of the National Workers Union on December 4th 2012 about their reinstatement to the executive of the Public Services Association (PSA) by order of Justice Joan Charles delivered on November 29th...more
CALLS FOR DRASTIC ACTION AS TTUTA GENERAL COUNCIL NEARS
The CPO’s refusal to budge is seen by many teachers as a virtual slap in the face in light of the union lowering its salary demand at the marathon meeting between parties on Friday 30th November...more
OATHS, EDICTS AND EAT A FOOD
Burton Sankeralli writes:"Now if we accept the centrality of community this means opening up dialogue involving all our communities not issuing edicts and parroting oaths. This involves a just, intelligent, inclusive transparent process"...more
Lloyd Taylor writes: "At the core of Kublalsingh's protests are not the protest per se, but the deficiencies in the institutions of governance that are required to give the citizen-patriots ownership of the decision-making process that affects their lives and livelihoods."..more
ROGER TOUSSAINT SUPPORTS HIGHWAY REVIEW
On November 28th, 2012, Trinidadian Roger Toussaint, former President of Transport Workers Union Local 100 (2001-2009)who led the strike that shut down the subways and buses in New York in 2005 sent the following message...more
THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS HIT THE STREETS!
Largely female, spanning the full age range, they came from all corners of the republic: from the South East, the East, Victoria, Caroni, the West, Port of Spain and Tobago. On this day they were not urban, rural, primary, secondary, male, female, Indian, African, Other, PNM, UNC, COP. They were simply teachers!...more
ALL TRINIDAD MUST REGAIN ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE
Nirvan Maharaj states: "Labour will always fail if we continue to sacrifice the interest of the working class on the altar of pettiness and political expediency. Labour must never have to depend on gifts or handouts from any politician or political party"...more
MORE IN THE MORTAR
Trevor Sudama writes: "I return to my original observation that too many vested interests with designs on the Treasury are involved and must be accommodated- whether officials receiving kick-backs, investors in land along the proposed Highway route, contractors large and small who have already calculated their handsome profits, suppliers of aggregate at inflated prices especially that which is imported and the commissions of intermediaries, truck owners, financiers, consultants and sundry favoured beneficiaries"...more
MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
Do Kamla and company not realise that their disgraceful hubris-filled performance in Debe’s Monday Night Forum revealed for all to see their authoritarian, indeed fascist tendencies, which have the potential to put a political sheen on the chaos and violence that already besets this country...more
TTUTA CALLS OUT THE TROOPS
Consistent with the decision of the General Council, TTUTA calls on all teachers to join a massive protest march through the streets of Port of Spain on Thursday November 29, 2012...more
RAG, TRINI ECO WARRIORS TO PICKET CANADIAN EMBASSY
The Rights Action Group, Trini Eco warriors and other environmnetal activists will picket the Canadian Embassy on Tuesday 27th November at 10:30 am...more
NWU: REPEAL ESSENTIAL INDUSTRIES SCHEDULE!
The National Workers Union (NWU) has sent to the Industrial Relations Advisory Committee (IRAC), for its consideration, a policy paper, prepared by the NWU entitled THE IMPACT OF “ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY CATEGORIES” ON WORKERS RIGHTS.The paper has also been sent to all unions for their information...more
CWU: NO TO C&W
John Julien states: "We wish to restate our intentions to see TSTT as a fully owned State Entity, structured and organised as a viable and sustainable organisation working for the interest of its employees, the shareholder and the citizens of our twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago"...more
TEACHERS PREPARE TO MARCH
The General Council of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association states: "Teachers should be alert to the call of the General Council, continue on a high level of mobilization and stand ready for further action and reflection in the days and weeks ahead"...more
TTUTA GOES TO WAR
After four hours of deliberation on Wednesday 14th November, the General Council of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) has decided on a campaign of direct action to force the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) to shift her position in her negotiations with TTUTA...more
RAG SUPPORTS CUBAN FIVE
Burton Sankeralli of the Rights Action Group writes: "It is very disturbing that still even while its power is waning, the present imperialism is clinging to its longstanding gangster tactics. But even there we see new winds are blowing. Even there the people are rising up and seeking to "occupy" the forces of enslavement oppression exploitation."...more
FROM THE GROUND UP
Dr. Godfrey Vincent writes: "The coalition supporting Obama won because of the power of community organizing, Occupy Wall Street, the fight back of Labor in Ohio and Wisconsin, the Nuns on the bus tour, the Latino Tsunami, the fight back of women, the African-American Tsunami, and the Youth Tsunami."...more
HORACE NORAY DIES
NWU: TIME TO UPDATE TRADE UNION ACT
Originally promulgated in 1932, the National Workers Union argues that this old colonial legislation needs completely updating ... more
REMEMBER JAHAAJEE MASSACRE
The procession moved along to San Fernando. Chants filled the air, Tassa broadcast the spirit of the Jahajees, Then, suddenly! Burst of buck shots joined the rhythm of the tassa drums. Cries of pain and confusion rent the air. Gun smoke…blood…death...more
THROUGH THE EYES OF OTHERS
Rae Samuel of the National Workers Union talks to a number of people about the impact the late Joe Young had on the labour movement...more
NWU CALLS FOR MEETING WITH RRCB
On 19th October 2012, the General Secretry of the National Workers Union, Comrade Dave Smith wrote to the Acting Secretaryof the Registration, Recognition and Certification Board (RRCB). The letter was copied to all members of the Recognition Board and to all unions...more
POSTAL WORKERS PICKET CPO
"We will make ourselves visible. We will make ourselves heard."...more
Bertie Marshall, an icon of the steelband movement passed away on October 17th 2012. ... more
WE ARE NOT ACTORS IN SOMEONE'S PLAY
Rafiki Morris writes: "In the real world, where people are not props and communities are not backdrops, there is always something to paint"...more
NFFA CONDEMNS ASSAULT ON GLEN RAMJAG
The National Foodcrop Farmers’ Association (NFFA) condemns in the harshest and strongest terms the brutal and unjustified beating of its Vice-President Glen Ramjag, by a security guard at the HiLo Supermarket compound in St. Augustine on 9th October 2012...more
JTUM SLAMS MCLEOD
JTUM states: "Bearing in mind that several of our Unions have matters at the Ministry of Labour we now find ourselves in a precarious position where we no longer feel that these matters can be impartially conciliated. We recognize that the Minister‘s position is identical to those of the Employers’ organizations and therefore brings his role as an impartial conciliator sharply into question."...more
PLEA TO SAVE ST. MARTINS
Helen Weekes writes: "I would think that as members of the “cloth” honesty would be first and foremost in this situation." ...more
On Monday October 15th delegates from the Banking and Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU), the Transport and Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) and the National Workers Union (TIWU) met with Comrade Joaquin Lacke Portuondo, representative of the Cuban Government based in the Latin American and Caribbean Division...more
COMETH THE MOVEMENT
Burton Sankeralli writes: "never in our entire history since the imposition of fraudulent independence has this two-party regime been in such crisis. It is on the verge of entirely losing all credibility if it has not done so already."...more
JTUM: JACK WARNER MUST GO!
"If we did not know before, the country must now know that the Minister of National Security is a serious threat to the democracy and freedoms guaranteed under our constitution. He has proven himself to be tyrant and runaway horse and seem to believe that he can do and say anything without any accountability and repercussion."...more
FITUN RENEWS CALL: WARNER MUST GO
Joseph Remy, on behalf of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGO's states: "...if the Prime Minister continues to ignore the glaring signs that Minister Warner is unfit for his current post then it stands to reason that the population can only assume that the Prime Minister and the rest of the Cabinet stand firm with Minister Warner and his disregard for the rule of law and his surreptitious intentions"...more
JOE YOUNG: LAST MAN STANDING
Raffique Shah writes: Over three meetings, all other members decided that in the interest of the party, they would defer to Panday. Two held our ground—Joe and I. Amidst adjournments and persuasion, I buckled. The issue was put to the vote and I sheepishly supported it. Joe didn't. He was the last man standing, on principle. I need add, he was later vindicated when Panday "mash up" the original ULF anyway...more
JOE YOUNG: A RADICAL TRADE UNION LEADER
Dr. James Millette writes: From its very beginning, therefore, TIWU has been a radical trade union organization led by a radical trade union leadership. Its mission has always been to provide credible and reliable representation to the unrepresented, and better and honest representation to the badly represented. For that, Joe Young deserves enormous credit: for his consistency, and for his constancy of purpose and direction...more
NWU: NO TO HEALTH CARE PRIVATISATION
The National Workers Union warns the working people of T&T not to be distracted by the circus being staged by UNCOPNM as they stuff their bellies full with the fat of the land, while we struggle to keep our heads above water in the face of their attack on our standard of living and our quality of life...more
JTUM: BUDGET A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT
The Joint Trade union Movement has issued a media release outlining their analysis of the 2012-2013 budget...more
NWU: BUDGET SHOWS PP CLASS BIAS
The National Workers Union advises that this will only end when the People of this country decide to break the cycle of turning to one or the other group of white collar bandits and political hustlers and refuse to allow ourselves to continue being divided on issues such as race and intervene on the important issues which determine our lives and shape them in our interest...more
PAUL: BE AWARE OF CNG PROBLEMS
Comrade Cecil Paul, Deputy President of the National Workers Union (NWU) talks to Rae Samuel about the use of compressed natural gas (CNG)...more
THE MIGHTY JOE YOUNG
To many of us who were youths in the 1960’s and 70’s, we remember Joe Young in his green dashiki strolling tall and strong through the streets of the City to get justice for workers; leading Bus Workers in struggle on South Quay Bus terminus (now City Gate); demanding that the Government repeal the Industrial Stabilisation Act (ISA)...more
JOE YOUNG AND THE SAGA OF THE BUS WORKERS
TIWU’s president declared, “The decision of the Industrial Court on the bus workers matter in March, 1969 was an open invitation for struggle; it had in it all the ingredients necessary for a strike: a poor wage award; and the elimination of some benefits previously enjoyed by workers"...more
LAST RITES FOR JOE YOUNG
The funeral of the late great labour leader, Joe Young, the founder of the Transport and Industrial Workers Union, will be held on Monday 8th October 2012...more
BIGWU: JOE YOUNG, OUTSTANDING LABOUR LEADER
Comrade Mario Als, Deputy President of BIGWU recalls Joe as a Labour Leader who “ represented a beacon of light to young trade unionists like myself… we could turn to him for advice on any on Industrial Relations matter, the history of the Trade Union Movement or the IRA… you were certain to get positive and revolutionary direction from him… a lot of which is still relevant today.”...more
FUEL SUBSIDY? WHAT FUEL SUBSIDY?
Comrade Cecil Paul spoke to NWU's Rae Samuel about the move by the government of Trinidad and Tobago to reduce the fuel "subsidy"...more
LABOUR HERO JOE YOUNG DIES
Joe Young, along with George Weekes, stood as a giant of the labour movement in the post-independence period of T&T. He led the fight to nationalise the bus transport system in the country and TIWU could rightly be considered as being responsible for the formation of the PTSC...more
STATEMENT OF NORMANDIE MEETING
Declaration of cooperation of civil society in the interest of good governance in the republic of Trinidad and Tobago...more
NWU: STRUGGLE IS TO BREAK THE POWER OF CAPITAL
So we go from tweedle dum to tweedle dee (PNM/NAR; PNM/UNC; PNM/PP) and through our trade union leaders we try to feed from the scraps of the overseers’ table. While we fight up for “good governance” and switch from Bim to Bam, the power structure remains in place – the conglomerates, financial smartmen and transnational corporations continue to rule the roost...more
CUBAN AMBASSADOR VISITS NWU OFFICE
The Cuban Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago His Excellency Humberto Rivero Rosario paid a visit to the office of the National Workers Union (NWU) at Barataria on Friday September 28, 2012...more
CWU'S JULIEN: BE WARY OF PNM MOVES
CWU is also very skeptical of moves by the PNM to befriend and join hands with the Trade Union Movement in this time of national crisis; a crisis which we believe was created collectively by the Parliament. We cannot allow them to pursue and promote their own political agenda, especially when the CWU as an organisation witnessed the threat of decortication under the Governance of the said PNM...more
THE SCOTT DRUG REPORT
The report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Extent of the Problem of Drug Abuse in Trinidad and Tobago, which is available for download, is a significant marker in assessing the development of organised crime and exposes graphically the venality and criminality that has characterised the security services and the political elites and that is a thousand times worse now than in the 1980’s when the report was done...more
JTUM, ROWLEY OPEN DISCUSSIONS
BUILDING A CAPITALIST CULTURE
The current scandal is but a manifestation of the capitalist culture, which is being played out in the “highest court in the land”. The concerns that are being articulated by the Leader of the Opposition have more to do with form and less to do with content. That is to say, he is concerned that the crude actions of the PP government, in handling the matter of Section 34 (3) of the Indictable Offences Act, could give capitalism a bad name...more
DOMESTICS REGISTER SET UP
The Ministry of Labour Small and Micro Enterprise Development hosted a function on Friday 21st September to launch a National Register of Domestic Workers...more
HISTORIC BIRCH KELMAN INTERVIEW
This website is pleased to re-publish the following interview which was published in the newspaper of the Committee for Labour Solidarity: HOLD THE FORT ((Vol. 3 no. 4 June 1985). This website thinks the interview is worth reproducing for its historical and cultural value.
This interview may quite well be the first done by “Birch” Kelman...more
The National Workers’ Union calls upon all working people to reject vigorously and with great conviction NATUC’s position in support of the government’s privatisation policy ... more
There is benefit sure in being an "irrevocable fool" which only the “irrevocable fool" knows. However it looks like this 'irrevocable fool" and his crown might soon be parted ... more
INTEREST GROUPS DEMAND RESPECT FROM DOUGLAS
As an elected representative of the people of Lopinot/Bon Air West, Dr. Douglas requires a certain respect, as the elected representatives of the three main branches of Carnival, we expect nothing less ... more
VENEZUELA ENACTS NEW LABOUR LAW
The Venezuelan government has enacted a new Organic Law of Work and Workers which has been under discussion in both the national assembly and by workers and movements since
2003. The law contains 554 articles. The website Venezuelanalysis.com has published a detailed chapter by chapter summary of the law ... more
by Dennis Olivier
STOP THE PRIVATISATION HOG TROUGH
The National Workers Union in its June 19th Labour Day statement 'repeats its calls made on February 9th 2012 and April 20th 2012 for the convening of an all union Conference of Shop Stewards and Branch Officers (COSSABO) to “discuss the implications
WANTED: A PARTY OF THE WORKING CLASS
Sylvester Mclaren writes: "The Party of the Working Class is not an ordinary party. It is different from the other parties and those differences are spelt out in its policies and programmes. Its ideological position is founded on working class principles which were spelt out by working people before Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto. It is a party of the workers, by the workers, for the workers, to which persons who subscribe to the ideology of the class may belong."...more
LYLE TOWNSEND: HERO OF LABOUR
Cecil Paul writes: "With the mantra “Dare To Struggle, Dare to Win”, Comrade Lyle Townsend’s influence on the CWU was both profound and beneficial to its members. The Union gained respect and workers greatly increased their salaries/wages and benefits from mediocre to one of the highest and better packages of benefits in Trinbago."...more
NWU REMEMBERS LYLE TOWNSEND
Known for his integrity and his refusal to be seduced by the blandishments of the employers, Comrade Townsend stayed true to the philosophy of advancing, protecting and defending workers interests through militant, indeed, uncompromising struggle...more
BIGWU HEAD SLAMS EX-BPTT BOSS!
In a media statement dated April 26th 2012, Vincent Cabrera, President of the Banking Insurance and General Workers' Union (BIGWU) attacked proposals put forward by Robert Riley, Ex-President of BPTT for the privatisation of health care and prisons...more
MAHA SABHA TRIES TO BLOCK TTUTA
TTUTA Officials, in visiting schools to deliver TTUTA material for the upcoming TTUTA 'Staff Representatives Day' and Staff Representatives’ Elections on April 26 have been prevented from making this delivery or communicating with the current TTUTA Staff Representatives by principals at some SDMS schools.
These principals have claimed that at a meeting with the Secretary of the SDMS Board, Mr. Sat Maharaj, they received verbal ‘instructions’ that TTUTA officials and/or TTUTA material were not to be allowed into SDMS Schools without the express approval of the Board...more
ORGANISE THE UN-ORGANISED!
JOIN THE NATIONAL WORKERS UNION!
National Workers Union, 43 Fifth Street, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago Tel.: (868) 223-4698; Fax: (868) 223-4697; Email: email@example.com
WHERE DOES TCL GO FROM HERE?
Sylvan Wilson writes:"If, as the auditors state, it is possible for TCL’s creditors to call in their loans what will become of all those who invested hundreds of millions in buying shares in the company? Will another call be made on the State like Clico and HCU? It clear that an urgent meeting of the shareholders needs to be called that will take decisive steps to change the leadership of the company and that, I believe, will also deal with the industrial relations problems."...more
NWU CONDEMNS WASA RETRENCHMENT; CALLS FOR COSSABO ON PRIVATISATION
The National Workers Union (NWU) is concerned but not surprised at the government’s intention to retrench workers at the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA) as their programme of privatisation gets underway...more
NWU: END ABUSE OF POLICE POWER
The National Workers’ Union (NWU) views the arrest of Ian Alleyne is one more example of the growing and disturbing trend of the abuse of police power. It is unacceptable that the police are allowed to violate and run roughshod over the civil rights of citizens. Despite all the rhetoric about democracy and the rule of law, police power seems to trump everything...more
THE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP
Sylvestre Mclaren writes: "We cannot expect the ruling class to produce leaders for the class to which it is diametrically opposed. Working people comprise the majority in the society but in the politics, we divide our strengths between parties which do not represent our class interests"...more
PAN HAS EARNED AND DEMANDS RESPECT
Brother Scobie writes: "It has brought more unity in communities than any politician ever could. It serves as an anesthetic, to this day, against poverty and hunger to many in the disadvantaged communities"...more
BIGWU WOMEN CONDEMN TREATMENT OF CHERYL MILLER
Comrade Denise Britton, President of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) Women's Committee, has raised serious questions about the forced incarceration of Ms. Cheryl Miller, a public servant, at the St. Ann's Mental Hospital.
Among those questions are:
Is this the new form of workplace bullying, where workers are to keep quiet for fear of being sent to the ‘quiet place’ or ‘naughty corner’?
Are we to take whatever treatment our employer give us and say nothing?
Even if the action of Ms. Miller is inappropriate, is there not a disciplinary process to be followed?...more
THE BOOK OF DAVID
HOW TO BUILD A STRONG WORKERS' PARTY
OPEN LETTER TO SATNARINE BACHEW
Brother Scobie writes: "to label workers blocking a gate and burning tires to protect their interest is obnoxious and vexatious in the least. Terrorists don’t sit by a gate singing Union songs and trying to block vehicles with their bodies, dissatisfied and disgruntled workers do"...more
TCL WORKERS TELL THEIR OWN STORY
The workers have been on strike since February 27th. The branch bulletin CONCRETE REALITY has been published by the branch for approximately thirty five years...more
WHY IS TCL'S MANAGEMENT STILL IN PLACE?
Sylvan Wilson writes:"...it is crystal clear that the company’s financial crisis has absolutely nothing to do with the workers’ strike action as it had defaulted on its debt payments since 2011 and the company’s position as a “going concern” was in jeopardy more than a year before the workers took strike action...more
A VACUUM TO FILL
Fay Roe writes: "We are in a pickle, in a huge political vacuum and since nature abhors a vacuum we must expect it to be filled. Therefore, the fundamental question is how we fill this vacuum so that our society can progress."...more
NWU CONDEMNS POLICE ATTACK ON TIWU HQ
The National Workers Union believes that the attack on TIWU headquarters is an attack not just on TIWU but is morea tactic to intimidate workers and their unions as the class struggle intensifies. Workers must remember that the police attacked the picket line of the striking TCL workers. It seems that the new ruling class mantra is if you can’t browbeat workers into submission, then beat them into submission...
VICTORY IS CERTAINComrade Frank Sears writes: "...no amount of legislation, no strident calls based on moral persuasion for fairness or heavenly bliss by church leaders and civic society are making dents on the widening gap between the poor and the wealthy. Therefore, even as we go about our business of getting a wage increase; of pursuing a commission of enquiry into corporate failure; of trying to subdue crime; of tinkering with the transport system or producing more
food, the basic problem remains. Those who keep their vice-like grip on the economy of the country do not and will not let go unless forced to do so."...more
TAKE WARNING: NAR HIDING BEHIND THE PP
Comrade Sylvestre McLaren writes: "Leaders must not be reluctant to speak about issues as they see them because at the end of the day when we move we must move as one body; all of us reading from the same book and in unity and solidarity; prepared to pull the mask from the faces of the disguised NAR and its agents in the labour movement."...more
NWU CONDEMNS POLICE ATTACK ON TCL PICKET LINE
NWU SEEKS RECOGNITION AT NDT
After past accusations that the employer had been threatening workers for joining the Union, the National Workers Union has submitted a claim to the Recognition Board for recognition at Non-Destructive Testers Limited...more
Six hundred workers employed with the TCL Group of Companies went on legal strike on February 27th 2012 after Oilfields Workers Trade
FIRED FOR GOING HOME ON TIMEFor going home on time at the end of his shift, a worker was dismissed – but won $32,000 in damages in the Industrial Court. Commenting on the case, Comrade Dave Smith, General Secretary of the National Workers Union, said: “This would be funny if it were not such a sad indictment of the attitude of so many employers.”...more
NDT AGREES TO TALKS
The management of Non Destructive Testers Ltd has responded positively to the call made by National Workers Union (NWU) President Comrade Frank Sears for discussion with the NWU to discuss urgent matters affecting their workers who have joined the NWU.
The meeting was held on Friday 13th January and is seen by Comrade Sears as a positive development in the effort of the NDT workers to exercise their legal right to join the NWU.
NDT WORKERS EMIT:
NDT WORKERS UNDER ATTACK FOR JOINING NWU
The management of Non Destructive Testers Ltd. has launched a vicious attack against their workers for exercising their legal right to join a trade union of their choice – the National Workers Union (NWU).
When the company got wind that their workers, dissatisfied with their conditions of work, had opted to exercise their right to freedom of association and joined the National Workers Union, they went into panic mode and begun to attack the job security of the workers.
Imagine in the twenty first century workers are being dismissed, victimised and threatened for exercising their legal rights...more