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posted 7 Mar 2010, 19:00 by Gerry Kangalee



The National Workers’ Union (NWU) calls upon the member unions of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) to dismiss Senator Michael Annisette from his post as President of NATUC.

The NWU is not a member of NATUC, but as a component part of the labour movement we view with great anger and deep disgust the position adopted by Senator Annisette against the campaign launched by the Public Services Association (PSA) to defend its members at the Board of Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Department.

The move by the Government to establish the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority Management Company Ltd. (TTRA) will result in the retrenchment of nearly 2,000 workers at the Board of Inland Revenue and the Customs and Excise Department and will effectively de-recognise the PSA and the National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) as the Recognised Majority Unions for these workers.

Yet Senator Annisette goes on record as defending the establishment of this so-called special purpose state enterprise which will clear the way for the same approach to be adopted at the Licensing Department, the Highways and Drainage Divisions of the Ministry of Works as well as local government as the government moves to emasculate the public service with disastrous consequences for public sector workers as to their job security and loss of union representation.

Not only does Annisette defend the establishment of the TTRA, but he disparages the mobilisation of PSA members by their leadership in defence of their job security.

Senator Annisette is clearly an avid supporter of the anti-working class neo-liberal economic policies of the PNM government and can be counted upon to put the interests of the neo-colonial regime above those of the very working class whose interests he is supposed to defend as President of NATUC.

The labour movement in this country can no longer afford to tolerate this charade. The first duty of the trade union movement is to defend, protect and advance the interests of its members. The biggest problem faced by workers today in both the public and private sectors is the problem of job security. Any trade union leader who fails to defend the job security of workers is a fifth columnist and must be viewed as an enemy of the working class and should be treated as such.

Gerry Kangalee,
7 Mar 2010, 19:01