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posted 11 Dec 2013, 04:39 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 11 Dec 2013, 04:39 ]

The All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union wishes to express its disgust and disappointment at the attempt by the Minister of Food Production to sidetrack the issues facing the Ex-Caroni Workers and turn the neglect and abuse of these workers into a political pappy show.

The Union also wishes to emphatically condemn the Minister for his statements made on a popular morning radio talk show in which he attempted to twist and manipulate the facts concerning a proposal that was requested from the Union by the Government concerning this issue.

As such the Union now sees it necessary to reveal to the National Community the truth that the Minister seems to have conveniently or perhaps inadvertently forgotten when he commented on the meeting on Sunday 8th and on the proposal he mentioned.

After months of agitation and meetings, the Union wrote to the Minister on the 18th July 2012 outlining the adverse issues facing the Ex-Caroni workers.

In or about April 2013 the Union met for discussions with the Minister, together with other Government Ministers (whose names the Union will reveal when necessary) and officials from EMBD, The Commissioner of State Lands and Caroni (1975) Limited.

The Government through those present requested the Union's assistance and asked the Union to submit a proposal, in which the Union could assist in helping to expedite the process, which basically meant doing the work that government agencies were supposed to be doing.

In an effort to ensure the expeditious distribution of land, leases and infrastructural development and approvals to the Ex-Caroni Workers, The All Trinidad agreed to assist in order to help complete these long outstanding issues and ensure that the continuing breach of the Deyalsingh Singh Judgment came to an end. In order to achieve this, the scope of work needed included the following:

 1. Three additional staff members for the duration of the period that the project would last

 2. A leased vehicle for the time period

 3. Visits to the allocated Distribution sites and visit to all Ex-Caroni Workers

 4. Discussions/meetings with Parties involved

 5. Research, Analysis and Writing of reports

 6. Telephone Calls

 7. Photocopying

 8. Printing

 9. Office Rental/furnishing of office and office equipment

The union suggested a stipend of $50,000.00 a month in order to cover its cost for the duration of its project. The government indicated that they could not agree to the union’s proposal and the matter was therefore dropped. The union wishes to make clear that at no time did it ever approach the government with a proposal instead it was the government who approached the union.

The union articulated on behalf of the Ex-Caroni workers before this and continues to do this to this day. It is the union's view that the Minister has now dropped to a new low.

The union wishes to make it very clear to the Minister and to the Government that we will not be distracted by lies and half truths and we will continue to highlight the issues in any way possible to ensure every single Ex-Caroni worker is given their land with all infrastructural development and necessary approvals and until the Caroni Green Initiative workers to the benefit of the Ex-Caroni workers.

The All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union is an independent organisation that will continue to do its duties to its former members without fear or favour and we shall be firm and unflinching in ensuring that the Ex-Caroni workers are treated as first class citizens of this nation.

 Yours sincerely

 Nirvan Maharaj

 Attorney at law

 President General