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posted 29 Mar 2013, 17:06 by Gerry Kangalee


On March 27th 2013 the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following statement: The Communication Workers’ Union condemns in the strongest and most vociferous manner, the attack on Mrs. Anika Gumbs-Sandiford and all media practitioners of Trinidad and Tobago. The utterances of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Sports on a public platform in Carapo are vexatious, disturbing, improper and unbecoming of members of Parliament.

The Communication Workers’ Union is convinced that the labelling of some members of the media as "rogue" without providing justification was done deliberately and intended to intimidate not just the media but anyone who dares to speak out against this failed People’s Partnership Government.

Ironically, Minister Anil Roberts has conveniently forgotten that he too was once a practicing member of the media which according to the Prime Minister has now gone "rogue".

The attack on Anika Gumbs-Sandiford by Minister Roberts suggests that he now sees himself as the "loud" mouthpiece for this failed Partnership Government who has now earned the right to lord it off on all citizens of the country while Anika Gumbs-Sandiford and by extension all other workers are still considered as hewers of wood and drawers of water, who must not have any other ambition but to take taxi, never own a house or anything of substance and remain domiciled, since travelling abroad appears to be a privilege reserved for the agents of capital.

The Communication Workers’ Union is firm in its view that the Prime Minister has absolutely no moral authority what so ever to call on the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago to hold members of the media accountable for their actions. To this date the Prime Minister has failed and/or refused to hold the Attorney General accountable for his actions in the Section 34 fiasco.

The Prime Minister has failed and or refused to hold the Minister of National Security accountable for the illegal and immoral demolition of the Reroute Committee’s camp site and of course not forgetting the most recent issue of the Flying Squad and all the other numerous allegations against the goodly Minister.

More importantly though, she has failed and or refused to hold herself accountable for the fiasco surrounding issues like the Gopaul Contract Fiasco at NP, the Reshmi Ramnarine debacle and of course the recurrent poor state of governance in Trinidad and Tobago amongst many other unfair issues over which she has presided or is presiding over.

Additionally, she has remained conspicuously silent when rogue elements within the People’s Partnership Government abuse parliamentary privilege to cast aspersions on citizens, by distorting facts with the use of lies and innuendos.

If however, the Communication Workers’ Union has to admonish the members of the media it will be for not fully understanding the critical importance of the Media, aptly described as the fourth estate, as a pillar of democracy in our country. In addition, they seem not to fully understand the significant role that a well organized and mobilized Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago can play in the support and advancement of the work of Media Workers, this being exemplified by their general absence at the last Annual General Meeting of the Media Association.

The Communication Workers’ Union implores every member of the media to be actively involved in the affairs of the Media Association since this latest attack on their profession will certainly not be the last. The CWU need not remind anyone of the importance of the media and the Media Association in ensuring that democracy prevails in Trinidad and Tobago especially against the background of the Government’s latest "blinkered" thrust in wanting to give to soldiers, the powers of arrest.

The Communication Workers’ Union stands in solidarity with all members of the Media and the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago and will support any action by the Media Association in the defence of its members.