Where we stand‎ > ‎Media Releases‎ > ‎


posted 19 Jan 2012, 17:37 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 9 Aug 2012, 08:49 ]



The National Workers Union (NWU) believes the announcement of the Education Minister that the security function in schools (now carried out by MTS) is to be privatised exposes clearly that payback time has arrived. The minister subsequently revealed on a TV morning show that the janitorial and maintenance functions, also carried out by MTS will be put out for tender.

This is going to put hundreds of workers on the breadline and hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of political financiers. The Minister’s announcement strengthens the suspicion of the workers at the Port of Spain City Council that the sanitation function in the city is also to be contracted out. The feeding frenzy at the trough of the national treasury is turning into an orgy.

In a statement issued on 19th November 2011 the National Workers Union (NWU) warned the country and the labour movement that the government had adopted a policy of privatisation. The NWU stated then that: “Privatisation leads to increased foreign control of the economy and results in widespread retrenchment. The PP government is committed to the policy of privatisation of state enterprises.”

The NWU pointed out that in a speech delivered at the AMCHAM Conference held on Wednesday 10 November 2011 at the Hilton Minister Dookeran said “state enterprises should now be rationalized to allow for equity offerings to the public. That is a policy directive.”

This policy of giving away the people’s patrimony is rooted in the advice given by the IMF in its last Article IV consultation to “strengthen” the public enterprise sector by inviting private sector participation, and accelerate privatisation, with assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank.

In his speech on Public Private Partnership at the Hyatt on Tuesday November 1st, 2011 at a conference in part sponsored by the IFC the Minister of Finance spoke of privatising public utilities, ports, airports, health care provision and pensions. PLIPDECO has been identified for divestment and according to Dookeran, a further seven enterprises are to be privatised. This is in addition to First Citizens Bank. There is a widespread belief that Petrotrin is also to be divested, in part.

The National Workers Union views the wage suppression/wage cap policy that the government inflicted on workers as the first round in their assault on workers’ standard of living. It is part of a broader policy designed by the IMF and World Bank to transfer income from the pockets of the workers of the world into the coffers of international bankers, finance capitalists, speculators and assorted financial con artists and smartmen.

This policy widely known as neo-liberalism includes, in addition to wage suppression, privatisation; downsizing of the public sector by outsourcing the supply of public goods and services; mass retrenchment among state enterprise workers and their substitution by contract labour.

It should be quite clear to the labour movement that after eighteen months of the PP government, far from being at the centre of development as the PP manifesto promised, workers have been used and abused.

From the minimum wage fiasco to the lack of action on the amendment of labour laws; the wage suppression policy, the privatisation policy and the imposition of the SoE the message to the working class has been: vote for me, work hard, shut your mouths and sacrifice your jobs and your children’s future to ensure that capitalist exploitation survives.

The National Workers Union urges the trade union movement and the workers of the country to recognize the great threat to job security posed by the government’s privatisation policy and to organize themselves to resist and push back this policy or the working class will eat the bread that the devil knead.

- END -


Gerry Kangalee (NWU National Education and Research Officer: 785-7637)


Follow us on:

Web page: http://www.workersunion.org.tt

Facebook: National Workers' Union (Trinidad and Tobago)

Twitter: nwutrinidad

Gerry Kangalee,
19 Jan 2012, 17:37