Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎


posted 25 Oct 2010, 20:42 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 25 Oct 2010, 20:48 ]
The National Workers’ Union congratulates the Public Services Association for waging a militant struggle against the insulting, disrespectful and oppressive offer of 0% 0% 1% wage increase to its members.

The working people of T&T have begun to stand up! We are determined to defend and protect the hard-won space we have eked out for ourselves over the years. The government is not proposing a negotiable wage offer. They are trying to impose a weight on public sector workers’ backs like was done by the NAR in the late eighties.

They are, like their counterparts in France, England, Spain and Greece, trying to force working people to pay for the crisis that capitalist greed has inflicted on the world. The government is treating with contractors and millionaire CLICO investors to the tune of billions of dollars, but refuses to treat with public sector workers in good faith. Public officers have responded loud and clear: “We are not going to pay for a crisis we had no hand in creating!” The government better doh order wha’ it cyah eat!

The People’s Partnership Manifesto says: “We will partner with labour unions to work beyond the frontiers of traditional collective bargaining of higher wages and better working conditions.” Going beyond the frontiers of collective bargaining seems to mean the abolition of collective bargaining.

The National Workers’ Union calls upon all workers to take a reading from the government’s attitude toward public servants. The struggle of public officers is a struggle for all workers employed in the public sector! Thousands of public sector workers are involved in negotiations: Daily Paid workers, teachers, workers at WASA, T&TEC, PTSC, MTS, Petrotrin, CDA, NP, fire services, prisons and others are in the same boat as public officers. If they defeat the PSA they will pick off the rest one by one.

Do not stand aside and look! All public sector workers must mobilise themselves to defend their standard of living which is under severe attack. Between 2005 and 2010, the general level of prices as measured by the retail price index increased 62%, while the index of average weekly earnings only increased 31%. Over the same period food prices increased 120%. Now this ridiculous wage offer when inflation at over 16% is at its highest in two decades!

We can’t rely on trade union leaders who are in the bosom of the government to beg them for favours!. We do not want favours. A decent standard of living for working people is our right as human beings. We must rely on our unity as working people and be prepared to do all that is necessary to defend our standard of living.

Public sector workers must hit the streets and engage in strong collective action to defend themselves and
their families otherwise crappo smoke all ah we pipe! Workers strength lies in control over production and in numbers. We must utilise our strengths to ensure that our interests, rights and entitlements are not trampled on!
Gerry Kangalee,
25 Oct 2010, 20:46