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posted 7 Dec 2015, 13:59 by Gerry Kangalee

In a statement dated December 5, 2015, headlined CWU LAMENTS THE CURRENT STATE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO'S ECONOMY, the Secretary General of the Communication Workers Union, Joseph Remy, stated:

The Communication Worker's Union, CWU, would like to publicly express its deep concern about the current parlous state of the Trinidad and Tobago Economy. The recent revelation by the embattled Central Bank Governor that our economy is officially in a Recession must be examined carefully to determine the real cause of the Financial Mess that we are in at this time.

The Central Bank Governor also revealed the main culprits in the abuse of Foreign Exchange, which while it is no surprise to the CWU, is quite disturbing since heading the list is PriceSmart, a distributor of Foreign Goods but an exploiter of local workers. Included in that list were DIGICEL and Columbus Communications, foreign players in the Telecommunication Sector who contrary to what happens at TSTT, employs very few local workers in their operations.

The CWU would also like to identify with what was said by the Minister of Finance about the use and abuse of over $60 Billion Dollars by the last Peoples Partnership Government during what can only be described as a five (5) year rollercoaster ride - through Fraud, Corruption, Nepotism and Cronyism, which has left the country's economy badly battered and abused and on the brink of social shock and distress.

We are once again calling for a sober and objective analysis of our current situation and as such, we will vehemently resist any attempt to place the burden of resuscitating our abused economy solely on the shoulders of the working class and the less possessed in our society. We call on the Government and the Central Bank to immediately identify appropriate monetary and fiscal policies that would stimulate economic activity and bring back our economy to producing at full employment output levels.

Consistent with our perennial calls, we demand there must be a serious look at price control mechanism, genuine diversification of the economy, a reduction in our consumption of foreign goods, a halting of the haemorrhaging of our state resources and the setting and maintenance of real wages in the economy so that workers can be motivated to supply extra labour, increase their productive output, realise the true purchasing power of their dollar, thereby stimulating economic activity necessary to take us out of this economic crisis that was imposed upon the unsuspecting citizens by those who parade in high places, strutting around with all the flowers behind their names, but who have failed us miserably over the years. 

It would be remiss of the CWU if we don't comment on the revelation of the abusers of Foreign

Exchange by the Governor. It is quite amazing that the head of DOMA and the Chambers of Commerce would chastise the Governor for revealing the names of the Companies who abuse the Foreign Exchange system.

It is those same leaders who gloatingly reveal the wages and salaries of workers and attempt to chastise the Trade Unions for demanding that workers earn real wages. They have no problem when the ordinary worker’s meagre earnings are revealed, but when their Business Cohorts are exposed for abusing the Foreign Exchange System, they cry wolf. We commend the Governor for this move and we demand that he also urge those at the Board of Inland Revenue to identify those Businesses who owe Billons in Taxes while creaming away much needed Foreign Exchange. So let the chips fall where they are supposed to fall, DOMA and Chamber of Commerce.

It is only when they all accept the fact that they and successive Governments are responsible for this sordid economic state that we are in, it is then that we can truly engage in the much needed and long outstanding Tripartite Discussions that are absolutely necessary to ensure that there is an equitable framework for the adjustments that are needed to bring us out of this morass that they have placed the Country in at this time.

The CWU would continue to ensure that the Working-class and less possessed in Society are not trampled upon in this crazy free-market, capitalist driven economic system that continues to make fewer people richer and billons poorer.