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Media Releases

These are the Media releases recently issued by the Union and other organisations/people..

Abolish Essential Industries Schedule

posted 6 Apr 2014 22:48 by Gerry Kangalee

The National Workers Union (NWU) in a letter to Labour Minister Errol McLeod, dated April 3rd 2014 called on the government to abolish the Essential Industries Schedule of the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) which prohibits a union representing workers in a so-called Essential Industry from representing workers in another Essential Industry. The union deems the Schedule as preventing workers from join a trade union of their choice which violates freedom of association and their right to collective bargaining. See letter here

FRIDAY APRIL 11TH VIGIL AT FCB

posted 6 Apr 2014 20:47 by Gerry Kangalee

In a circular addressed to the workers of First Citizens Bank (FC) dated April 7th 2014, the Banking Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) stated:

At an emergency meeting of FC Branch Officers held on April 05, 2014 to discuss both the events surrounding the Rahaman/IPO scandal that continues to tarnish the image of the Bank and the state of our negotiations, it was decided as follows: 

i) ON FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014 a candle-light vigil will be held to protest both the stink of the Rahaman/IPO scandal and its negative impact on the Bank’s image, as well as to demand fair settlement of 2012-2014 negotiations for the Collective Agreement.

ii) A central theme of the vigil is: RAHAMAN GONE – NYREE AND OTHERS MUST FOLLOW!!! All indications are that proper governance of the Bank has deteriorated under the Alfonso/Nath leadership.

iii) THE protest will begin at First Citizens Independence Square branch and end at the Ministry of Finance – Twin Towers. Howai cannot escape unscathed in this whole scenario.

iv) MEMBERS of all Branches of the Union, affiliate Unions of NATUC/FITUN/JTUM and the general public are being invited to lend solidarity to this event. Members of the general public will be especially invited to sign a petition calling for heads to roll over the impropriety associated with the governance of our national bank – WE BANK!!! 

v) ALL workers are also asked to wear something RED to work on FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014 – symbolic of our protest against (a) Unethical conduct and lack of proper governance in the affairs of the Bank; (b) disrespect for the contribution and interests of employees and (c), our intention to protect the integrity of our national Bank, which belongs to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and not a select few who cover their acts of larceny and poor ethics by calling it economics. 


C & B THERE!!!
ACTION BEGINS AT 6:00PM
SYMBOLIC BEATING OF UNETHICAL BOBOLEES AT 7:30PM



PAN IN GRANDE RIVIERE by Michael "Bro. Scobie" Joseph

posted 3 Apr 2014 11:41 by Gerry Kangalee

Pan Trinbago started the new Steelpan year on a high in Grande Riviere on the 29th March 2014.Those who missed it, missed a good Steelpan lime. Pan lovers came from the four corners of Trinidad and Tobago to be a part of Pan In D Country Side in Grande Riviere. 

The councillor and chief man of the area Bro. Terry Rondon was most gracious in his extension of accommodation and hospitality to Pan Trinbago and the many Maxi loads of supporters who invaded the popular turtle watching village, bringing in a crusade of Steelpan music to this rural community. 
 
The community became alive with activities. Sales in local cuisines and condiments were given
a boost. The local economy got a surge. The people of the community were satisfied, and so to were the visitors. Everyone had a good time and it was incident free, as always with Steelpan events. 

For most of the visitors, it was their first visit to this part of the country, so it was also a learning experience. Pan Trinbago is contributing to and supporting the development of our eco tourism. 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. 

Where is the government in all of this? The Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Community Development, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Youth Development, the Ministry of Multiculturalism, and a host of other Ministries, should be involved in the promotion of Pan Trinbago’s Pan In De Country Side project in the form of financing to guarantee the success of this noble, worthy and enterprising venture.; especially at this time of our development where it seems that our country is being swallowed by a sea of criminal activities. 
 
I recall as a youth growing up in my community, the police band would visit at certain times and entertain the people and it would create a level of excitement amongst the villagers. Since the heightened crime situation has distracted the police from one of its social responsibilities to the communities, Pan Trinbago saw the opportunity to fill the void and also promote the National Instrument, and at the same time create a sense of unity in the community. 
 
We look forward to the day soon when the government and corporate Trinidad and Tobago will recognize the sterling contribution that Pan Trinbago is making towards national development and do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. 
 
In the mean time, we know the place is Tabaquite. Look out for the date and time for the next Pan In De Country Side as promoted and sponsored by Pan Trinbago. The beat goes on. 

Yours In Culture 
 
Michael L Joseph (Bro. Scobie)
Chairman South/Central Region
Pan Trinbago

KEEP YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

posted 1 Apr 2014 17:35 by Gerry Kangalee

 

HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

 

Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Movement

 

April 1, 2014

 


Grave concern compels us to speak out and to draw the nation’s attention to what is happening a few miles from our shores, in Venezuela. Demonstrators, demanding the resignation of the newly elected president, are backing that demand with murder, attacks on police officers and destruction of public property. A pregnant woman was shot trying to get off a bus that stopped at a barricade set up by “protestors”, and snipers took pot shots at police. Over thirty-five people have died in the last month, victims of beatings, stabbings and shooting by thugs in service to sections of the opposition. 

The international media do not report these protestors wanton disregard for law. They do not show the billions of dollars worth of damage to public and private property. Nor do they publicize that the murders and beatings are being carried out by the demonstrators and their supporters. The Media report that hyperinflation, shortages of toilet paper and rolling black-outs have brought students to the streets seeking democracy. It is made to appear that the entire nation is clamoring for change. They want the world to think that President Maduro is a ruthless dictator, killing his own people to stay in power. Nothing is further from the truth. 

The truth is that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela was re-elected twice in the last two years. In 2012 Hugo
Chavez was re-elected president. Mr. Maduro was elected in 2013, after the death of President Hugo Chavez. The entire world declared all of these elections free and fair. Only the United States and the Venezuelan opposition claimed they were rigged. In addition Maduro's party recently had an overwhelming victory over this same opposition coalition in local government elections. Where is the lack of democracy that is being touted in the press? 
 
The truth is that Venezuela is a democratic country, empowering its citizens. It is the opposition that is killing citizens, including police officers, hoarding goods and encouraging a black market that buys US dollars at many times the market rate. A careful look at what is going on reveals that all of the causes reported by the western media, were manufactured by the demonstrators and their backers. They are hoarding toilet paper, fueling the inflation and committing criminal acts of violence. It is our suspicion that they are trying start a war in the backyard of Trinidad, complete with US intervention. 
 
We have credible reports of demonstrators burning supermarkets, hijacking truck loads of meat and destroying food stocks. Who ever heard of hungry people destroying food? Protestors broke all the windows in the home of one governor and they shot a police officer trying to calm demonstrators. One group of pro government supporters was sprayed with bullets from a masked man on a motor cycle. This is not social discontent; this is terror, criminality and sabotage. This appears to be an attempt to “soften” Venezuela in preparation for the seizure of power by force of arms. 

Our concerns for the peace and safety of the citizens of our nearest neighbor are intensified when we view it in the context of current US foreign Policy. These same kinds of activities preceded the overthrow of the Governments of Egypt and Tunisia. The NATO invasion of Libya and the current hostilities in Syria both started with this exact same sequence of events. In each case grievances were invented or manipulated to foster demonstrations and unrest. Paid thugs were introduced to escalate the conflict to an armed phase. These thugs and mercenaries attack the government and the people. When the government or the people themselves defend themselves and shoot back, CNN reports that they are “Killing their own people!” 
 
In Egypt the corrupt Mubarak government was replaced by the infamous terrorist group The Muslim Blood Brotherhood with Western backing and support. In Libya Tripoli was turned into rubble, Qaddafi was murdered in the streets and replaced by militias that were formed and armed by the CIA. In Syria they went so far as to release chemical weapons on the populace so they could say that the Syrians crossed Obama's line in the sand. We now know that the Syrian Government has not used chemical weapons and that the so called rebels have. 
 
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. 
 
We have a growing concern that the territory of Trinidad is being used as a staging area for US Military and intelligence operations in Venezuela. We want to know to if the PP supports US intentions in Venezuela? We want to know if Trinidad's infamous spy equipment is being used to gather intelligence in Venezuela. We want to know if Trinidad is being used as a pawn on the regional chessboard and is serving as an asset of US foreign policy? We want to know if the black market trade in money, drugs and arms, between Trinidad and Venezuela is being used as a pipeline to supply arms and money to the would be insurgents? Finally we want to know if the CIA is operating out of Trinidad and Tobago. If they are we want to know what they are doing. 
 
In real practical terms, the destabilization of Venezuela is the destabilization of the region. It will harm the economies of all of the countries in the Caribbean who are parties to the Petro-Caribe trade agreement with Venezuela. Petro-Caribe provides much of the region (with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Montserrat) with fuel at below market rates. Venezuela is a friend of the Caribbean. 
 
We want people to know that the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela promotes the empowerment of the Amerindian and African people who make up a significant portion of their population. Venezuela is engaged in a permanent effort to redress the indignities of the past and elevate the poor and dispossessed to their proper place in the National family. Venezuela is a friend of the African and Amerindian Peoples. Africans and Amerindians are a huge part of the Bolivarian Movement in Venezuela and we support them in their struggle for a better life. 
 
In the twentieth century The USA invaded countries of the Caribbean and Central America 17 times including invasions of Haiti, Panama, Cuba and Grenada. They have done it before and there is no reason to believe they will not do it again. 

We call on all people of conscience and good will to say no to US intervention in Venezuela. We tell the US Government and their friends in the region and in Trinidad and Tobago: 
 
KEEP YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF VENEZUELA!

 

JTUM CALLS MAY 23RD DEMO

posted 12 Mar 2014 18:53 by Gerry Kangalee

The following statement was issued by the Joint Trade Union Movement on March 12th 2014.

The JTUM met last night in a lengthy session primarily to discuss the current state of our country. We examined the various social, political and economic issues, which issues are having a most direct and adverse impact on the vast majority of our citizens. These issues have already done and continue to do considerable damage to our country’s image. 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.

Today we are experiencing the highest levels of corruption and nepotism at all our state boards which have become a law unto themselves with no accountability to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. While on the one hand we witness the political victimization with the ruthless firing of persons who are perceived to be opposed to the government on the other hand we see corrupt appointments which are done solely on the basis of party loyalty, with a total disregard for relevant experience, competence and qualification. 

This government has shamelessly departed from all protocols, accepted norms, best practices and conventions and procedures and has descended into an ‘anything goes’ mentality much to the embarrassment of Trinidad and Tobago.

The country is now being run by a small group of ‘cabalist’ who are amassing huge wealth by corrupt means at the expense of the majority of citizens. When this small group gains through corrupt means they deny us proper roads, modern health care facilities, basic school infrastructure, decent jobs, and so many other amenities to improve the quality of life and standard of living of the vast majority of our citizens.

We definitely cannot go on this way, we cannot simply sit idly by and allow this small group to use their political office and close political connections to steal our country’s resources.  

Unfortunately in the midst of all this chaos, the view of some is that salvation will come when general elections are called next year 2015 and the People’s Partnership is finally voted out of office. That view harbours the concept that we do nothing and just bide the time. The JTUM vehemently disagrees with this approach because the harsh reality is that by next year the country will be an empty shell and any party going into government will inherit not only an empty treasury but will find that our future and the destiny of our children are committed to and mortgaged, way into the future. In other words the decision and stands we take today will determine the quality of life of our people tomorrow.  Our forefathers did not sit idly by. They took action yesterday for us to benefit; Today it is now up to us to take action for a better Trinidad and Tobago. 

The JTUM has decided that on the basis of the current state of our country and on the basis of our responsibility as a labour movement we have decided to call halt to the current chaotic situation. In this regard we wish to announce a massive demonstration in our nation’s capital, Port of Spain, dubbed “It’s time to take a stand for Trinidad and Tobago” to be held on the 23rd May, one day before the 4th anniversary of the People’s Partnership government in office. We are calling on all citizens, NGOs, political parties, community groups, farmers’ organizations and fisherfolk, youth and student organizations, the business community, our professionals and intellects and religious groups.
We must all take a stand, it is time to end the talk and start the walk. We cannot allow the haemorrhage to continue, we cannot allow the corruption to continue, we cannot allow the nepotism to continue, Next year 2015 will be too late Let us bring an immediate halt to bad governance. At this point to do nothing is not an option, as citizens if we did nothing we will only have ourselves to blame. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet must be held accountable. We must stop these ‘cabalist’, this small elite privileged group who has taken over our country. 

CDA VERSUS CHAGUARAMAS FARMERS

posted 12 Mar 2014 10:25 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 12 Mar 2014 10:38 ]

GUAVE ROAD FARMERS VS THE CHAGARAMAS DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Press Release From the Guave Road Farmers Association\


Currently there are some 40 or more farmers engaged in Farming the lands at Chaguaramas (hereinafter called the Lands). The Lands being farmed cover a triangle bounded by Guave Road to the East and North, the Western Main Road to the South and the Cuesa River to the West. There is also farming activity on Lands to the east of Guave Road.

There is evidence to indicate that the current farmers or their ancestors/beneficiaries were farming the lands on Guave Road since the early 1950s or before. It should be noted that this was before Independence, before the CDA came into existence and during the time when the Americans were in occupancy of the Chaguaramas Peninsular.

The available evidence is there are Farmers alive today who were actually farming these lands or assisting their parents to do so in the early 1950s. There are also authenticated aerial photographs (see copy attached) which show drains and other signs of cultivation on the lands. We are also researching records of the US Army Corps to find reference therein to such farming activity.

The Americans occupying Chaguaramas at the time the farmers were on the lands knew of their presence and permitted it and there are persons alive today who will testify to this and the fact that they actually were permitted to walk through the security gate located immediately after Alcoa to get to their lands.

These items of evidence are sufficient in Law for the farmers to have acquired rights to the land and to claim these rights by way of adverse possession. The CDA knows this and their recent aggressive and illegal action is an attempt to remove evidence that would lend support to the farmers’ claim of adverse possession. There are however comprehensive video/photographic records - with dates, of all the CDA actions including what existed on the ground before they destroyed it, how it was destroyed and what exists there now.

Danny Solomon and Bhoe Tewarie destroyed and levelled buildings and the farmers’ crops, tools and equipment in order to achieve their aim of removing evidence of farming activity on the ground today. The other items of evidence they cannot destroy and that together of the photographic record we have of Hugh Wooding Thomas and his Team in action will show all they have done as being quite futile - if not criminal.

Successive Boards at the CDA have tried to deal in various ways with the farmers’ occupancy of the land. One of them even entered into discussion with the farmers to recognise and regularise their situation. The current Board led by Danny Solomon who is instructed by Bhoe Tewarie is the only one that has gone about destroying the farmers’ crops, buildings and tools/equipment and forcefully – with armed personnel, preventing the farmers from getting onto their lands.
On the morning of Sunday 23rd February 2014, a crew of CDA employees and “contractors” moved onto land occupied by members of this association and destroyed crops some of which were bearing and ready to be harvested. The crew was led by one Hugh Wooding Thomas who is a senior employee of the Authority. We were able to capture extensive video footage showing Hugh Wooding Thomas and members of his crew in the act. We have developed details of the damage done on that day and will be taking legal action against the CDA and the persons involved (see below previous e-mail sent out on that incident).

On the Morning of Carnival Monday – the 3rd March 2014, before 6 am a similar crew also led by Mr. Hugh Wooding Thomas came to the lands and demolished some sixteen building/sheds owned by the farmers and took away several items belonging to the Farmers. The damage done is yet to be estimated but information relative to that is currently being gathered for the purpose of also taking legal action. Needless to add we have extensive video footage of that incident also. The leader of the gang in this recent incident was also Hugh Wooding Thomas and the actions were carried out by a Company from Montrose Chaguanas carrying the name of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO SECURITY SERVICES”. Their e-mail is given as <info@ttsecurity>. We are doing some checks on this Company.

On the morning of the 6th March 2014 a demolition crew of trucks and heavy equipment moved in and destroyed what was left of the farmer property. They loaded up and carted away all the farmers’ tools/equipment and other items which were not taken away or destroyed during the raid a few days before. The damage done during these three raids carried out by the CDA resulted in losses to the farmers amounting to well over $800,000.

Among the items taken were whackers and other motorised and expensive items of equipment. There is only one possible explanation as to what the CDA and its people would have done with these.

The attached email/letter was e-mailed - on the date shown, to Danny Solomon (the Chairman of the CDA) and other persons indicated. The destruction of the farmers’ crops, sheds and tools/equipment took place immediately this was sent.

No prior Notice – written or otherwise for any of the three raids was given to the Farmers. The date and time of the three assaults by the CDA would suggest that they moved like thieves in the night – quite unbecoming of persons acting on behalf of the State.

The farmers are current in discussions with their Attorneys regarding the filing an injunction restraining the CDA in its aggression and acts of destruction. They also will be registering a claim to the lands by way of adverse possession. The farmers wrote to the CDA advising them of this as a way to having the Court decide on the issues and expecting the CDA as a supposedly law abiding Statutory Body to agree. The CDA - as the date on the e-mail/letter shows, moved immediately on receiving it, to pre-empt and influence any intervention/decision of the Court and indeed to remove any evidence that would have informed its deliberations i.e. by destroying the farmers crops, sheds, etc. and bulldozing all else.

CDs with extensive coverage by videos/photographs showing the actions of the CDA while they were being committed - including the faces of the perpetrators and their vehicles, are available on request. They are however very large and impossible to send via e-mail.


 The Guave Road Farmers Association 684 5998, ear@tstt.net.tt



CWU COSSABO REJECTS VSEP

posted 6 Mar 2014 10:57 by Gerry Kangalee



On February 27, 2014, John Julien, the Secretary General of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following statement:

At a COSSABO of all TSTT Branches of the CWU, held on Wednesday 26th February, 2014, the issue of Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, (TSTT) proposed Voluntary Separation Initiative and Five (5) Year Strategic Plan was discussed and debated in detail. (SEE LETTERTS AND STATEMENTS ATTACHED BELOW)

After making a comprehensive analysis of the current challenging economic environment; the significant role that TSTT has to play in the provision of universal Telecommunication Services to the country as the dominant provider; and, the projected negative and debilitating impact that these initiatives would have on the workforce of TSTT and the wider national community, it was the unanimous position of the COSSABO that these initiatives relative to Voluntary Separation/Early Enhanced Retirement and the Five (5) Year Strategic Plan as proposed by TSTI', should be rejected.

The COSSABO calls on the Board of Directors of TSTT and the State, as the majority shareholder in the Company, to take note of the decision of the COSSABO and be so advised that they should immediately take steps to withdraw these proposals.

In addition, the COSSSABO calls on the Company to take all necessary steps to immediately resolve the numerous outstanding issues which the union has repeatedly identified and which it says are impacting negatively on the morale of the employees of the Company and the sustainability and viability of the Company, inclusive of the protracted Wage Negotiations for the Senior and Junior Staff Bargaining Units; the Medical Plan for Bargaining Unit Workers and Retirees; the TELCO Pension Fund Plan; the TSTT Pension Fund Plan; the filling of numerous vacancies in the Company; the abuse of Contract Work; the illegal alteration of terms and conditions of employment for Bargaining Unit workers through the unilateral implementation of Organizational Structures; and the infringement of Occupational Safety and Health Provisions.

The COSSABO further calls on the State to do all things necessary to acquire full ownership of TSTT' to ensure that this viable, important and profitable national asset continues work in the best interests of all nationals of the country through the provision of affordable and reliable Telecommunication Services to the nationals of Trinidad and Tobago.

In that regard, the Communication Workers' Union stands in readiness to engage in meaningful discussions with all stakeholders in an effort to ensure that TSTT becomes the Telecommunication Services Provider of choice in Trinidad and Tobago.

FIITUN: WHOSE LIVING WAGE?

posted 21 Feb 2014 14:40 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 21 Feb 2014 14:43 ]

Joseph Remy, President of The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs, (FITUN) issued the following statement on February 19th 2014.

The Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs, FITUN wishes to publicly state that while the recent statements by Senate President Timothy Hamel Smith reflect a fundamental show of contempt for the people of this country, we are not at all surprised by them.

At a luncheon hosted by the Port of Spain Rotary Club, the Senate President attempted to justify the need for the increases for Parliamentarians by saying that the current Salaries did not represent a "living wage.”

FITUN wishes to make it pellucidly clear, that the records will attest to the fact that no Member of Parliament including Senators receives less than $ 10,000.00 per month currently. The question which has to be asked is whose standards are being measured to determine the bar for a ‘living wage ’.

The Senate President went on to elaborate on his insensitive statements by saying that one cannot take care of a home and family on these salaries. FITUN would like to state that if there was ever any doubt that those in exalted office were totally disconnected from the reality of the people they are entrusted to serve, any such doubts would have been removed yesterday by the class based position adopted by the goodly Senator.

There is an unprecedented level of insensitivity as it relates to the realities of the majority of citizens in this country. The CSO figures show that there was an average salary of below $7,000.00 for our workforce in 2009. This figure is significantly bolstered by the energy sector which is five (5) times the average of other sectors and as such exerts a pull factor on the average wage.

In addition, the number of workers within the energy sector is much less than within the other productive sectors of the country. Moreover, workers employed in the Electricity and Water Industries account for the second highest wage bracket. The Central Bank is forced to acknowledge that the presence of unions is significantly responsible for these higher salaries.

However, the fact of the matter is that the majority of the workforce remains un-unionised, albeit due to an archaic and anti worker Recognition, Registration and Certification process that effectively makes it impossible and most times impractical for workers to join a Trade Union of their choice, consistent with International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions.

Those workers are thus subjected to questionable terms and conditions of employment and most significantly, they earn salaries well below the national average and therefore, by the standards which the politicians ascribe for themselves, these persons earn well below a ‘living wage ’.

What is worse is that this is the same administration which attempted to impose the dreaded 5% cap on wages and there was no outcry by the politically appointed Senate President about what constitutes a ‘living wage’ at that time. Now that the Senate President has discovered his pseudo working class lineage, FITUN now await his support as ongoing outstanding negotiations in various sectors continue to be unresolved, even to the point where quite a number of workers are still working on deflated 2007 salaries in 2014.

While all that exploitation takes place in some state sectors, the debate for an increase in the minimum wage once again, gains national prominence. FITUN is therefore calling on the Senate President to be consistent and state his position on the current minimum wage of $12.50 per hour which works out to be less than $2,200.00 per month and is deeply rooted way below his benchmark for a "living wage". 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.”

Let us also be clear however on what is not said. There is an unspoken position that some people count and others don’t; that some must be able to live life unencumbered while others must be perpetually indebted; that some persons are more deserving of a what they consider a living wage than others; that there are some who must be compensated sufficiently to meet the needs of their families while others must ‘wine to the side ’.

FITUN rejects this outright. While Trade Unions are asked to tell their members to batten down the hatches in the interest of country and tighten their already touching belts while increasing their productive outputs, there is no talk of a "living wage" and the social conditions of the members they represent.

The time has come for workers to demand their just due from this hypocritical administration. We put this Government and the country on notice that FITUN is preparing to heighten its activities as our member units continue to face untenable resistance to free and fair collective bargaining at the hands of unscrupulous employers, including the state. A "living wage" is not the divine right of only those who are foisted upon the population due to political allegiances. As such, FITUN commit to struggle to achieve this end for every worker in Trinidad and Tobago.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

NWU: RAMLOGAN ENCOURAGES HARSH AND OPPRESSIVE MEASURES

posted 30 Jan 2014 17:12 by Gerry Kangalee

A.G. RAMLOGAN ENCOURAGES HARSH AND OPPRESSIVE MEASURES

 

The National Workers Union (NWU) notes with concern that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was reported in the print media to have said according to one newspaper  “on the issue of appointing a police commissioner, the AG described as “red herring” insisting someone will be forced to perform to the maximum if left in an acting position, since if that person did not meet the grade, someone else would be placed at the helm”.

 

This statement by the highest legal adviser to the Government and the State is fraught with negativity, betrays an ignorance of human feelings and promotes instability in the police service and violates best practices of Industrial Relations.

 

How can the failure to appoint a police commissioner for such a long period of time be a “red herring” issue? In fact, such a failure is a grave indictment against the government and those responsible. The Police Commissioner must be secure in his position if he is to efficiently perform his job. He must also have the respect and confidence of his officers.

 

This continuous acting police commissioner issue is pure inefficiency and political patronage by bungling, corrupted and incompetent ruling politicians who seem to be on a dangerous divisive path and playing for time to appoint someone to this high prosecutorial post that will offer protection in times of need when out of office.

 

An acting Police Commissioner or anyone not being confirmed for such a long period of time in a job must get the feeling that those responsible for his appointment are either dissatisfied with his performance, he is being victimised or there is another person the authorities wish to appoint. How can such a person not be frustrated? No such person can be forced to perform to the maximum if left in an acting position for such a long period of time.

 

There can be no incentive for improved performance based on fear of not meeting the grade and someone else being placed at the helm in a position you have acted in for such a long period. A person in that position must feel a sense of being used and abused and therefore will be in a state of vexation and frustration.

 

The Attorney General has also broken one of the fundamental best practices of industrial relations in having persons acting in a position for a long period of time without being confirmed in the position in which they are acting. So that our top legal adviser to the government is encouraging the violation of good and proper industrial relations practices and suggesting instead harsh and oppressive practices.

 

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.

TACARIGUA RESIDENTS SEEK JUDICIAL REVIEW

posted 29 Jan 2014 19:00 by Gerry Kangalee

The following statement was released by the Save Our Green Spaces Committee on January 25 2013:

The Save Our Green Space Committee (SOGSC) has not been in a position to brief you formally since mid-December 2013 about plans by residents of Tacarigua and other stakeholders, to seek legal redress for our well publicized concerns about proposed and actual physical developments within our Orange Grove Savannah.

You may not have been aware that planning permission was granted by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development to the Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (SPORTT) without any consultation with stakeholders in Tacarigua and with other habitual users of this iconic green space within our community. Our principal concerns continue to be the potential for adverse consequences from this development within our community and on our way of life.

We now embrace this opportunity to apprise you that members of the Tacarigua community and affected stakeholders have commenced legal proceedings to challenge the grant of planning permission for the establishment of the sporting complex proposed by the SPORTT in our Orange Grove Savannah.

Our application for leave for Judicial Review was granted by the High Court on the 7th January 2014 and we, the parties filed our claim on the 20th January 2014.

We have been privileged to be assisted professionally in taking forward these legal interventions, under the expert guidance of an esteemed three-person legal team, led by the highly acclaimed and experienced Advocate Attorney, Mr. Fyard Hosein, Senior Counsel. Other members of the team are the Junior Advocate Attorney, Mr. Rishi Dass, and our filing Attorney, Ms. Marina Narinesingh.

The Hearing (First Case Management Conference) on this High Court Matter is scheduled for the 6th February 2014 at 9:00 am in Hall of Justice, Court Room, POS 20 to which you are cordially invited to attend, if feasible. Litigants from Tacarigua and other affected parties are all expected to be present.

Prior to this however, the SOGSC expects to convene a Crucial Mass Public Assembly on Saturday 1st February 2014 at 7:30 am at the Corner of Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua and the Priority Bus Route, to which you are also invited. Feelings of our community will continue to find expression on our placards as is usual for our Citizens' Assemblies.

Thank you kindly for your interest and support.

Sincerely,

Carol James

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