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Media Releases

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

TSTT TOBAGO WORKERS SHUT DOWN CAROLINE BUILDING

posted 14 Jul 2014 14:39 by Gerry Kangalee

The following statement was issued by Joseph Remy, General Secretary of the Communication Workers
Union (CWU) on July 11th 2014


The Communication Workers' Union would like to bring to the public's attention, the reasons for the action taken by workers who occupy the Caroline Building, Scarborough, Tobago, relative to their refusal to work in circumstances where their health and safety is in danger. 
 
As can be gleaned from the attached pictures, this building is now undergoing some heavy construction activities due to renovation work being undertaken by the owner. The owner has also indicated
that the lease for TSTT's occupation expired since March 2013 and they continued to occupy the building on a month to month arrangement. 

Despite all of this, TSTT never once consulted with the workers or the CWU as the
Recognized Majority Union for Senior and Junior Staff Bargaining Unit Employees. They sanctioned this construction work without the knowledge of the Workers or their Union and introduced unsafe conditions into the work place. 

Workers took the decision to exercise their rights to refuse to work under these
conditions and as such on Thursday July 10, 2014, they officially submitted Refusal to Work Reports to their Supervisors and the Company in accordance
with Section 15 of the OSH Act and thereafter ceased to occupy that Building. 

The Union, on behalf of the workers so affected, apologizes to the Public for this inconvenience but we believe that the Workers actions are justified and would also protect the lives of members of the Public who ventured to enter this Building to engage in business transactions.





































NWU CONCERNED ABOUT MCLEOD’S ATTACK ON PSA MEMBERS

posted 5 Jul 2014 05:26 by Gerry Kangalee

2014-07-04


NWU CONCERNED ABOUT MCLEOD’S ATTACK ON PSA MEMBERS

 

The National Workers Union (NWU) notes with great concern the imposition of a stop order on the Public Services Association (PSA) and the workers of the Immigration Department by the Industrial Court at the behest of the Minister of Labour, ex-OWTU president general, Errol K. McLeod.

 

The action by the Minister of Labour, utilising section 65(1) of the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) highlights the imbalance of power between workers and employers in a capitalist society.

 

The industrial relationship between employer and employee is an adversarial one and is recognised as such by the procedures laid out in the IRA designed to regulate that relationship. Of course, in the final analysis, the relationship is skewed in favour of the employer, because the employer can exert economic pressure on the workers and the capitalist state has developed to protect the interests of the employer.

 

This is demonstrated graphically in the IRA with its restrictions on the right to strike and its outright prohibition of the exercise of that right by what is deemed in law to be workers in essential services and the restrictions on workers in exercising their right to freedom of association because they have been deemed essential industries.

 

The law, in large part, therefore, serves the interests of the employers and, conversely, acts against the interests of workers.

 

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.

 

Workers should have the right to take industrial action even though it may cause inconvenience to the public. Even the founder of the PNM, Dr. Eric Williams recognised this when he said in 1960: “Industrial democracy is based on the right of workers to strike, even though the community is thrown in turmoil. It is the effective and often the only way of bringing the workers case to the attention of the public…”

 

Of course, our first prime minister made a u-turn on that position and all political parties have since sought to suppress the exercise of the right to take industrial action, including the right to strike, by workers.

 

The International Labor Organisation (ILO) of which the government of Trinidad and Tobago is a member recognises the right to strike. According to the ILO: “ The right to strike is recognized by the ILO’s supervisory bodies as an intrinsic corollary of the right to organize protected by Convention No. 87, deriving from the right of workers' organizations to formulate their programmes of activities to further and defend the economic and social interests of their members.”

It is clear that the law is designed to bolster, protect and defend the interests of the employers. It is also clear that if workers are restricted in their capacity to take collective action to advance, protect and defend their interests they are rendered powerless in their relation to their employers.

While the Occupational Safety and Health Act recognises workers’ right to withdraw from situations posing a danger to their health and safety, the Minister of Labour used the IRA to stop the workers at Immigration department from doing so.

 

Yet the IRA states in Section (3) For the purposes of this Act, no person shall be regarded as a worker, if he is —

(a) a public officer, as defined by section 3 of the Constitution…”

 

It seems contradictory that the IRA deals with the relationship between workers and employers; that public sector workers are specifically deemed as not being workers, yet the IRA has been used to put a stop order on their actions.

 

This latest struggle of the workers in the public service confirms the position of the National Workers Union that the labour laws in T&T are oppressive and need to be overhauled from top to bottom; in particular the Industrial Relations Act needs to be repealed and replaced by legislation that will facilitate the interests of working people.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gerry Kangalee (National Education and Research Officer – Cell: 785-7637)

MCLEOD! END RECOGNITION DELAYS NOW!

posted 18 Jun 2014 19:44 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 18 Jun 2014 20:03 ]

The following statement was issued by the National Workers Union to mark the occasion Of Labour Day, June 19th, 2014

 

Freedom of Association is the most important issue facing trade unions across the planet. It is fundamental to workers organising themselves for the purpose of collective bargaining.

In T&T it takes a ridiculously long time to determine an application to the Recognition Board for recognized majority union status. Recognition claims may take as many as four years to be determined!

 

The Workers Agenda, which (now Minister of Labour) Errol K. McLeod piloted at an All Union COSSABO on April 18th 2010, called for the removal of this restriction among other issues. About the recognition process the Workers Agenda states: 
 
“A limit of three (3) months needs to be put in place for the determination of recognition claims…” 
 
McLeod and the party he led went into government in 2010. From then to now, when his party was in government and when he abandoned it to continue eating a food when they left, he has done nothing to advance the Workers Agenda. 
 
The members of the Recognition Board are not full time and do not manage the day to day process of determining applications for recognition. The board more or less accepts and ratifies recommendations from the Secretariat, the members of which are public officers attached to the Ministry of Labour and under the control of Minister of Labour McLeod. 

Trade unions have called for the repeal of the Industrial Relations Act as oppressive, anti-worker legislation enacted by a frightened PNM Government during a state of emergency in 1972. But the question of expedition in issuing recognition claims can be achieved even within the ambit of the law. 

Bitter experience over the years has  taught us that employers seize every opportunity to ignore and delay the recognition process. While we expect the employer to do all in his power to deny his employees trade union recognition, the processes employed by the Board have led us to the conclusion that the State shares the employer perspective and in fact acts consciously to protect the interests of the employers. 
 
While the government pays lip service to upholding workers' right to collective bargaining, it in fact actively participates in the attempt to delay, obstruct and ultimately prevent workers from exercising their right to trade union representation. 

The Recognition Board has developed Practice Notes that govern the process by which they go about determining applications. These are the cause of most of the problems. These Notes are the product of the Board Secretariat and can be amended without recourse to amending the legislation, if the Minister of Labour and his cabinet wish to do so. 

Of course that would meet with opposition from the employers who finance the political hustlers and confidence tricksters who infest the parliament. It is clear that McLeod and his government have aligned themselves with anti-worker, anti-union employers. 
 
The development of the Practice Notes and the implementation of the process of determining applications are not the product of the Recognition Board but that of the Secretariat which is under the control of the Minister of Labour. 

The process is twofold: The first step is determining the appropriateness of the bargaining unit(s); the second step is the checking of records. The Secretariat seems to believe that there is some high science that must be invoked to determine a bargaining unit and that within the secretariat they alone have the “expertise” to determine bargaining units. It’s all a load of rubbish! 

Step two is the checking of records which should be a relatively easy process, if not for the recalcitrance of the employers and the incredible level of superfluous detail that the Recognition Board requires from parties involved in the application. 

The National Workers Union supports the recommendations of the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) Included among these recommendations are that the following time lines should be introduced: 

1. A claim for recognition should be acknowledged by the Board within seven (7) days of its receipt; 

2. Within fourteen days, the Board should convene a meeting of the union and the employer to discuss what bargaining unit(s) would be appropriate (this is the time-line set out in the IRA for the Ministry of Labour to convene a conciliation meeting for reported trade disputes); 

3. The employer should be required to bring to that meeting all the information necessary to enable the discussion to take place on what bargaining unit(s) should be established; 
 
4. Where the parties can agree the appropriate bargaining unit(s), this should be accepted by the Board; 

5. The Board should establish interim bargaining unit(s) to enable the check of records to take place while further work is done on clarifying and dealing with outstanding issues. 
 
6. Time-lines can be varied by mutual agreement between the parties but the objective should be to complete the process within three (3) months 
 
7. Where the employer refuses to co-operate, ignores the process or deliberately delays the process, the Board should proceed on the basis of the information it has available from any source, including that provided by the union. This is already provided for in Section 23(1) of the Board Rules. 
 
The National Workers Union contends that McLeod, the Minister of Labour, has the authority to put an end to these never-ending frustrating delays. 
 
The National Workers Union calls on McLeod to use the power he has to bring an end to the delays in the recognition process now! Failure to do so would just confirm what all conscious trade unionists know - that McLeod is working to advance the cause of the employers and is consciously obstructing the advancement of the interests of the trade union movement and working people, all in the interest of eating a food.

 

RECOGNITION DELAYED IS RECOGNITION DENIED!

CWU SLAMS UNC RAM'S TSTT APPOINTMENT

posted 6 Jun 2014 13:54 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 6 Jun 2014 13:57 ]

Bryan St. Louis, Deputy General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following statement on June 04 2013:



Bryan St. Louis
The Communication Workers' Union would like to publicly express its grave concerns with respect to the recent appointment of Mr. Arnold Ram to the position of Head of Department, Corporate Support Services of the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, effective Wednesday 4"' June 2014. 

We question the timing of this appointment immediately after the Company approved VSP/EERP Packages for over 200 Managers, Professionals and Executives based on their purported and ill-advised 5 Year Strategic Plan. The question begs, was the VSP/EERP a plot by the Company to make room for Ioyalists and cohorts of the People’s Partnership to gain control of TSTT?
 
We wish to state publicly that reliable information coming to the Union indicates that Mr. Ram is currently holding the position of Research Officer on the National Executive of the United National Congress, (UNC), and was appointed a temporary Senator on a couple of occasions by the People’s Partnership Government. 

Our research has also revealed that Mr. Ram was previously employed at another State Entity, Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission, T&TEC, and had to leave under unusual circumstances. He was also reported to be anti-worker and completely beholden to the UNC. 

This apparent act of nepotism cannot be allowed to be perpetuated at TSTT. As a progressive Trade Union, we stand for transparency and equity in all recruitment exercises conducted at TSTT and at other State Entities and as such, we call on the Minister of Finance to immediately intervene in the best interest of the shareholders of the National Enterprise Limited, NEL, and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, who are the main stakeholders in TSTT.
 
This act by the TSTT Management has clearly revealed the sinister plot of certain Board Members who are also closely affiliated to the partnership Government to entrench their PARTY HACKS” into key Senior Positions within the Company to further advance their "EAT AH FOOD AGENDA", and transform TSTT into one of their Election Campaign Bases for the upcoming 2015 General Elections.
 
The CWU would not sit idly by and allow this travesty to occur and would take all necessary steps to prevent this from happening, since we commit to struggle to ensure that TSTT remains a viable, independent State Owned Entity, working for and in the best interest of all citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

MEDICAL MAFIA BENEFITS FROM EXTERNAL PATIENTS PROGRAMME

posted 5 Jun 2014 08:26 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 5 Jun 2014 17:02 ]

2014-06-05


MEDICAL MAFIA BENEFITS FROM EXTERNAL PATIENTS PROGRAMME


The External Patients’ Programme, announced by Health Minister Fuad Khan, represents the formalization of the government policy of divestment of the health sector as the National Workers Union has been pointing out since then-Finance Minister Dookeran made it clear in a speech on Public Private Partnership at the Hyatt on Tuesday November 1st, 2011. The Minister spoke of privatising public utilities, ports, airports, health care provision and pensions.

What the External Patients Programme does is to institutionalise the scandalous situation existing in the health sector since the introduction of the Regional Health Authorities in the late 1990’s. For years public funds have been routed into the pockets of a clique of medical doctors masquerading as public officers in the public health system while actually operating a private hospital sector. 

Patients are routed through the public hospitals into the private hospital system and the government pays. This rapidly growing health sector cannot exist in its present form without being a parasite on the public health system. These medical crony capitalists, like their brethren in the manufacturing, construction and service sectors are leeching on the state in their mad scramble to accumulate capital at the expense of the public. That is why it is so important for the business elite to maintain control of the political parties. 

The External Patients Programme, according to Minister Khan, is designed to ensure that people who have to wait prolonged periods for appointments will be allowed to have the surgery or other procedures at private medical institutions. Khan argued that those who are to access private care must have been waiting in the public health system for more than three months. They would be given vouchers to go to private institutions. 

The National Workers Union’s information is that 99% of the external patients are in the system for longer than three months, so one can safely say that all the patients would be able to access this programme. What a great money-spinner that will be for the private medical capitalists! 

The backlog began because the Regional Health Authorities (RHA’s) are being purposely starved of equipment and staffing. In the North Central Regional Health Authority alone, there are, at least, six hundred and fifty vacancies to be filled. So the production capability must decrease, hence the reason almost all patients are in the system for longer than three months. The RHA’s suffer serious deficits in terms of equipment staff, medication, utensils and everyday products. 

Management of the RHA’s is based on political allegiance and not on providing a first class health service to the citizens. The industrial relations are abysmal and lead to low morale and frustration on the part of employees who are not connected to the party in power. Contract employment is the favoured form of employment and contracts are varied at will making these workers incapable of organising their business going forward in terms of bank loans, mortgages, significant investments etc. 

Because there are no recognised majority unions in the RHA’s, except for the Medical Professionals Association in the South West Regional Health Authority, compensation packages are falling behind and terms of work do not evolve to raise the standards of the conditions of work. Because of the political intervention in day to day operations of the RHA’s hiring and promotions are not transparent. Incompetent management and horrible industrial relations also contribute to the backlog. 

The minister admitted that there was unused capacity at public hospitals but “those who were supposed to do the normal work were not doing it and making sure that there was a backlog. So we are partnering with the private sector.” 

Does Minister Khan take the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, his employers, for a nation of idiots? 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! 

Minister Khan has not addressed the following key questions. How long will it take to decrease the backlog? After the backlog has decreased will the programme come to an end? Will the RHA's be given the correct amount of staffing and physical resources to prevent another backlog? What is the total estimated cost of this program in comparison with equipping the RHA's? How many of these private institutes are affiliated to friends and family of politicians? 

How come in 2012 Khan himself stated it was too costly to outsource medical procedures; stating in the Senate $164 million was spent for outsourcing services for the period 2009-2010, yet today he is institutionalizing outsourcing? On another occasion he said the exorbitant figures were forcing him to stop outsourcing to private hospitals except with the authority of the Minister or the Chief Medical Officer. Talk, they say, is cheap particularly when it comes from a Minister of Health who is himself a leading figure in the private medical sector.

The truth is that the health sector in T&T stinks. It has been a running sore on the body social for decades and it needs to be fixed. Handing over hundreds of millions to the medical mafia is not going to fix it. 

The External Patients Programme is a critical element in the further privatisation of health care and the eventual privatisation of public health care institutions by the powerful and influential medical mafia that is responsible for the high cost of health care and which will see further increases. 

The public health institutions seem set to become a gathering station for those in need of medical procedures. They will play the role of holding bays and clearing houses for the shunting of patients into the arms of the medical mafia. Of course, when the private hospitals run into problems they rush patients back to the public health institutions to die. 

The National Workers Union, unreservedly, condemns the establishment of the External Patients Programme and sees it as another trough for another group of parasites to eat a food as the elections draw near. This move is the final nail in the coffin to legitimise and officially sanction the well-orchestrated fraud long practiced by the greedy cabal of medical capitalists and is designed to advance the stated policy of the government to privatise health care provision.

END -

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gerry Kangalee (National Education and Research Officer – Cell: 785-7637)

CWU CALLS OUT MCLEOD

posted 7 May 2014 14:59 by Gerry Kangalee

In a statement dated April 30th 2014 and signed by General Secretary, John Julien, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following:


The Communication Workers' Union is very concerned with the manner in which the People's Partnership Government is treating with an important institution as the Registration, Recognition and Certification Board (RRCB).

We have been informed that the life of the last Board expired on or around 10th January 2014. To date we have also been informed that NO NEW BOARD has been appointed and as such workers' matters which are referred to the Registration, Recognition and Certification Board are not being addressed.

What is however most disappointing is that this Board falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labour Small and Micro Enterprises Development which is under the Leadership of a former militant Trade Union Leader who has an appreciation of the important role the RRCB plays in the treatment of matters as it relates to Trade Union Recognition and Certification, Determination of a member of a Trade Union in good standing and Determination of a worker within the meaning of the Industrial Relations Act.

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.

The Trade Union Movement has been calling for a repeal of the Industrial Relations Act for quite some time now, as the processes of the RRCB as defined in the Industrial Relations Act are so cumbersome and outdated that it has created long delays in the determination of matters before the Board thereby denying workers the opportunity for the timely determination of matters.

We are yet to see the implementation of the Worker's Agenda as promised by the People's Partnership Government and it may never be implemented as their term of office is coming to an end soon.

Whilst we hold no brief for any of the traditional Political Parties we will not hold our breath for any of them to place workers at the centre of National Development far less implement the Workers Agenda.

We are therefore calling on the Honourable Minister of Labour, Small and Micro Enterprise Development to address this untenable situation where matters relating to workers and the Trade Union Movement are not being addressed because of the failure to appoint the RRCB in accordance with the Industrial Relations Act 1972 as amended.

Further, we demand that the Workers Agenda be implemented now so that the Industrial Relations Act could be repealed and replaced with legislation that would make the playing field level for all parties in keeping with our changed and evolved Industrial Relations Landscape. Additionally there is a need to review all other Labour Legislations, such as The Occupational Safety and Health Act, The Workmen's Compensation Act, The Minimum Wages Act and The Retrenchment and Severance Benefits Act.

As presently exists, these pieces of Legislation weigh heavily in favour of the Employer Class and as such there is a need now to level the playing field in the interest of all Classes so that these Labour Legislations could meaningfully serve the purposes for which they were intended. The ball is now in your court Honourable Minister of Labour, Small and Micro Enterprise Development. Let us see how good a team player you are now!

REALLY, MR. ANNISETTE? by Dave Smith

posted 3 May 2014 06:25 by Gerry Kangalee

General Secretary of the National Workers Union, Dave Smith sent the following statement to the editor of the Trinidad Guardian:

I would like the opportunity to respond to the President General of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union, Mr. Michael Annisette, who, in your letters column of 27th April 2014, wrote in glowing terms about the benefits of privatisation.

Whilst much of his letter dealt with the mechanics of how the people's assets were sold off at bargain basement prices in the First Citizens Bank IPO, the real issue has to be Mr. Annisette's justification of the whole process.

In criticising the anti-privatisation position of the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU), Mr. Annisette says:

“Comrade Cabrera has deprived some of his members of a unique opportunity to own a part of this iconic and profitable state enterprise and to create personal wealth for both themselves and their immediate families.”

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.

As a state enterprise, and a very successful one at that, the FCB belongs to us all and the profits generated ought to be available to spend on improving public health care services, education, the roads infrastructure and any other investments of benefit to the community as a whole.

This possibility has been diminished, of course, with the sale of 19.3% of FCB. Money that should be contributing to improvements for all of us is now being used for the benefit of those new shareholders who are seeing significant increases in their “personal wealth”, as espoused by Mr. Annisette, at the expense of the rest of us.

The loss of benefits to the majority of us is clear.

Shares sold for TT$22 on Monday 15th July 2013 almost immediately hit a high of TT$42. Without lifting a finger these new shareholders almost doubled the value of their shares. If only an increase in wages could be so easy.

Reports are that dividend payments will be semi-annual, and range between 45 and 55 per cent of the profit after tax. With FCB's 2013 Annual Report showing a profit after tax amounted to $606.5 million some $121 million that could be used to improve public health care is being taken by the few at the expense of the many.

The Credit Suisse Research Institute's '2011 Global Wealth Report' shows that less than 1% of the world’s adult population own 38.5% of global household wealth. This grossly unequal distribution of wealth is typically reflected in most countries.

By moving assets from the public to the private sector, which is what happens when Governments privatise our state enterprises and contract out work, we are adding to the gap between the rich and poor.

Rather than selling our public assets, the Government should be taking in to public ownership key parts of the economy, such as the balance of the oil industry, natural gas and the banks, so that the wealth of the country can be used for the benefit of us all and not the profit of the few.

MAY DAY MARKS INTERNATIONAL WORKERS MOVEMENT

posted 29 Apr 2014 07:08 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 29 Apr 2014 07:20 ]

2014-04-29

 

Ever since the development of capitalism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, workers have struggled to improve their conditions of life through combining in unions. A major focus of the struggles of workers has been to reduce the length of the working day. In those days workers used to work sixteen hours per day and through a series of bitter struggles they were able to reduce the working day to ten hours. 
 
In the 1850’s Australian workers set the objective of an eight hour workday declaring eight hours for work; eight hours for recreation and eight hours for rest. This slogan became popular throughout the international labour movement 

In 1884, the U.S. Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions declared that from May 1st, 1886, an eight hour workday would be the full and legal workday for all U.S. workers. Of course the capitalists did not comply 

On May 1st, 1886; hundreds of thousands of workers throughout the USA came out into the streets in a general strike to force the bosses to implement the eight-hour working day. On May 3 the Chicago police opened fire on unarmed striking workers at the McCormick Reaper Works, killing six workers and wounding untold numbers. 

On May 4, the International Working Peoples' Association organized a rally at Haymarket Square to protest the continuing police brutality against striking workers. Armed police attacked the workers. Many workers were killed and seven policemen. Eight activists were arrested on charges of "inciting riot" and murder. Four of them: Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel and Adolph Fisher were executed. 
 
In July 1889 the International Congress of Paris adopted May 1st as the International Socialist holiday to commemorate the Haymarket martyrs. On May 1st 1890 mass demonstrations and strikes were held throughout the world, wherever the workers movement was organised. 
 
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. 
 
During the 1950’s and sixties in Trinidad and Tobago, the then expanding trade union movement celebrated May 1st with huge demonstrations and rallies, but since the early seventies when the PNM government removed holiday status from May Day it went into decline but did not die. May 1st began to be celebrated with indoor rallies organized by individual unions and lately it was celebrated with demonstrations in San Fernando organized by the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU). 
 
May Day 2014 is being marked by a national COSSABO at OWTU headquarters, but the executive of the National Workers Union (NWU) had already decided to picket the Minister of Labour on that day; the COSSABO had not yet been organized when the NWU decision was made. 
 
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.


END -

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gerry Kangalee (National Education and Research Officer – Cell: 785-7637)

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



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