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posted 20 Jan 2015, 09:34 by Gerry Kangalee

Joseph Remy, Secretary General of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued the following media statement on January 19th 2015.

The Communication Workers' Union would like to express its deep regret and concern over the recent announcement by the Jamaican Government of their approval for the "transfer of control of Flow and Columbus Networks to Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC)".

What was even more disconcerting was the assertion by the Minister that "there was little the Jamaican Government could do to block the multi-billion merger." This latest development smacks in the face of the sovereignty of Caribbean Countries and speaks of our propensity to succumb to foreign Multi-Nationals who wave their purses at individual regional leaders time and time again, thereby destroying what little remains of Regional Integration.

When would we learn that a united Caribbean Region can wield substantial economical and political power once there is genuine unity? Additionally, this approval was also given despite the position adopted by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union to seek a regional response to this impending acquisition.

This impending acquisition was the subject of a hastily scheduled meeting among Regional Regulators and some stakeholders in the Telecommunication Sector in the region In December 2014 in Trinidad and Tobago. Coming out of that meeting, there was some understanding that the Regional Regulators and major stakeholders would seek to develop a common unified position with respect to the acquisition and lay the foundation for a regional policy position going forward with respect to the Telecommunication Sector in the region. All this was supposed to be done to ensure that the Telecommunication Sector in the region works for and in the best interest of citizens of the region.

The Communication Workers' Union renews its call to the Trinidad and Tobago Government and the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to take the lead in this situation and reject any approval for the transfer of control of Flow to Cable and Wireless Communications. We have recently submitted our concerns to the TATT and we demand that they acknowledge our written submissions and seriously engage the CWU as one of the key stakeholders in the Telecommunications Sector in meaningful discussions on the implications of this impending acquisition before any decision is taken.

We are also calling on the Government to stay their hands on any decision on this matter and strongly advise that they do not follow the ill conceived and unfortunate position adopted by the Jamaican Government. We demand that the Trinidad and Tobago situation be looked at differently and that in this time of economic depression, we do not sell out our patrimony for 30 pieces of silver as it seems has happened in the Jamaican situation.