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posted 28 Sept 2011, 14:20 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 29 Sept 2011, 02:50 by Dave Smith ]



The Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) as a member Trade Union of the NATIONAL TRADE UNION CENTRE and as a part of the JOINT TRADE UNION MOVEMENT is appalled and disgusted at the latest statement emanating from the offices of the Employers Consultative Association. While we have grown accustomed to the usual anti-trade union sentiments which have been expressed by the ECA from time to time, this latest attack on the trade Union movement by what is regarded as the premier employer organisation in Trinidad and Tobago, is indeed worthy of outright condemnation. The statement is backward and reminiscent of the 1970’s period where the ECA told the government that it must take the fight to the nation’s trade union.


The ECA in its latest statement has described trade unions as “misguided” and guilty of “impeding the process”. Whether we are accused of impeding the process or progress”, BIGWU wishes to announce that it has immediately withdrawn from the process of talks with ECA representatives in relation to social partnership.


Clearly, the ECA statement leaves us no choice, since it has openly sided with the Government by declaring that “double-digit wage increases cannot be met by Government.”  We do not understand the basis of the ECA’s conclusion, but we know as a fact that the trade unions have published cogent arguments and economic data, dispelling any notion of “inability to pay on the part not the government”.


Clearly too, the ECA by its statement is attempting to have the government deal directly with workers in this century, without reference to Trade Unions as the legitimate representatives of all workers in Trinidad and Tobago. Definitely, the Trade Union Movement will be taking action against the Employers Consultative Association, inclusive of selective picketing of its offices from time to time.


At the same time we wish to point out to small businesses in particular, that single digit wage and salary increases would lead to a decline in business activity since the market for goods and services primarily comprises, working people and their families. Decreased purchasing power by working people will inevitably lead to the recession in the economy, which many both politicians and economists have been warning against.


In the Service of the Working Class,






Tuesday 27th September 2011 

Gerry Kangalee,
28 Sept 2011, 14:29