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posted 9 Aug 2014, 08:07 by Gerry Kangalee



August 5, 2014

Calls for Immediate Independent Enquiry at PETROTRIN

The Joint Trade Union Movement is calling for an immediate enquiry on the recent oil spill disaster at PETROTRIN.

At a meeting of the Joint Trade Union Leaders this week all Unions present agreed to advocate against any attempt by the government to side step what is a major disaster. The JTUM supports the residents of Marabella and other surrounding areas affected by this latest oil spill.

The JTUM identifies the major players who must be held responsible among the following:

  • The Board of Directors (PETROTRIN)

  • PETROTRIN President, Khalid Hassanali and the top management with oversight over the process

  • The Minister of Energy and Energy Resources

Ultimately it must be remembered that PETROTRIN is a State enterprise in the energy sector and so the government must be collectively held responsible. This company is a major revenue earner for the country and therefore government has a responsibility to guarantee and secure the processes which attend to the production, storage and downstream activity of the sector.

The JTUM further notes with concern the fact that the government and the company were warned of the very concerns that have now manifested themselves in a report produced by the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU). The Union then attempted to present the report to the Prime Minister who refused to accept same.

 This report contained constructive recommendations which if implemented and accepted would certainly have forestalled tis latest disaster.

This report was presented to His Excellency, the President of Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony Carmona.

The JTUM also calls for the quashing of any audit or enquiry now being hurriedly commissioned by the discredited executive management of PETROTRIN to engage the services of Price Waterhouse, and audit firm to investigate this disaster. Price Waterhouse is a service provider to PETROTRIN and as such does have a conflict of interest in this matter.

The JTUM supports Ancil Roget, President General of OWTU who said that the company must be held accountable. In the first disaster last December attempts were made to suggest in some twisted way that the Union was to be looked at. That realm of folly was soon smashed as it became clear that the real culprits were gross mismanagement and negligence at the very top. Attempts to blame a bundwall around the affected oil storage facility is really a smokescreen to what is the real issue.

We wish to warn the population that there are a reported 42 oil storage tanks which are at risk and can cause even more disasters through the rupturing of tank walls.

The President of PETROTRIN must go now! The entire Board must go now!