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posted 18 Aug 2013, 17:36 by Gerry Kangalee
The Acting Secretary General of the Communication Workers Union, Bryan St. Louis, issued the following statement dated 18th August 2018.

The Communication Workers Union would like to publicly express its outrage and condemnation over the decision of the Board of Directors of the Telecommunication Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, (TSTT), to approve millions of dollars in obscene Bonus Payments once again to the Executive, Management and Professional class at the company. 

This is a clear case of class exploitation by a Board that has rewarded those persons who rode the backs of the dedicated, committed, loyal and hard working, Junior and Senior Staff Employees of TSTT, who went beyond the call of duty whilst still working on 2007 salaries in 2013. 

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. 

This Bonus Payment is being made despite the company's refusal to publicly disclose its 2012-2013 Financial Statements; this Bonus Payment is being approved against the background of wanton abuse of the company's financial resources by a Board of Directors who have now been dubbed the "Frequent Flyer Board" due to their frequent jaunts in London and other European and Latin American Countries.  

Additionally; this Bonus payment is 'being made in the face of the company's failure/refusal to address serious Health and Safety issues at the various work places; together with the refusal to resolve the Medical Plan issue for their long suffering Retirees. 

This Bonus Payment is being made despite the concerns publicly expressed by the National Enterprise Limited (NEL), about TSTT'S lateness in submission of Audited Financial Statements which is critical to this State holding company operations and also facilitates the disclosure of the Financial Statements of the said holding company. We question whether the Shareholders of NEL would support such a flagrant abuse of its resources in the face of the Company's treatment of its Bargaining Unit Workforce. 

This Board of Directors has lost their way and appears clueless as to the future direction of this viable state entity, yet they have once again approved an obscene bonus payment despite the clear and present danger of Cable and Wireless thrust for majority shareholding in TSTT so that they can unleash their Caribbean wide assault against the terms and conditions of employment of Trinidad and Tobago citizens who have stood steadfastly against their total domination of the Telecommunication Sector in the Caribbean. So we question on whose directive or authorisation did the locally appointed Board of Directors rely upon to approve this atrocious bonus payment? 

The CWU is calling on the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Public Utilities to immediately put a halt to this feeding frenzy at TSTT by instituting a freeze on this Bonus Payment and launching an investigation into allegations of corruption in the operations of TSTT. Anything less would suggest that the People's Partnership Government is in full support of this abuse of State Resources at TSTT. 

We further demand that the company immediately release its Financial Statements for the year 2012-2013 and thereafter engage the CWU in bilateral talks to have the outstanding Wage Impasse resolved out of Court in the face of the declaration by the Company, with this Bonus Payment, that the financial and economic situation of the Company could accommodate much more that the ridiculous 3% offer to the Junior and Senior Staff Employees. 

We warn the Company that anything less would force the Union to go on the offensive and use all our legitimate options, inclusive of protest action to secure justice for our hard working and long suffering Bargaining Unit members. In that regard, we commit to do all within our power to restore some semblance of accountability and sanity to the operations of TSTT, so that it would be able to survive in an economic and viable manner and regain its competitive advantage in the Telecommunication/information Communication Technology Sector, working for and in the best interest of its employees and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. 

A word to the wise is sufficient!
Gerry Kangalee,
18 Aug 2013, 17:37