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CWU demands withdrawal of suspensions

posted 6 Oct 2009, 20:18 by Unknown user   [ updated 11 Oct 2009, 20:56 by Gerry Kangalee ]

The Communication Workers’ Union is in possession of a News Release from the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT). RE: TSTT ISSUES DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS TO SUSPENDED EMPLOYEES DATED SEPTEMBER 29, 2009.”

The CWU rejects the pathetic attempt by the Company to disassociate itself from the Political attacks against Unions and the Communication Workers’ Union in particular by the State, as it seeks to stamp out all dissidence against its ultra conservative Right Wing approach to Governance.

What is even more pathetic, is that TSTT has the audacity to attempt to convince intelligent citizens that the State which is the majority Shareholder in TSTT, has absolutely nothing to do with the train of events

We ask the question, who is in charge of running the affairs of our country? Is it the duly elected members of Parliament or is it agents of Capital, operating in the background, while using foreign Chief Executive Officers as their front men.

It is a documented fact that since the commencement of bilateral discussions some four (4) years ago, the Company’s representatives among whom was a high profile Former Government Minister trained their guns not so much on the Wages/salary aspect of the Negotiations, but more so upon the elimination/watering down of the long established foundations of the Collective Agreement(s) namely:- Mutual Recognition of Rights, Terms and conditions of Retrenchment and Successorship among others, all to be replaced by wide ranging and unlimited Management prerogative.

This assault on the Collective Agreements at TSTT has everything to do with the dismantling of TSTT and the creation of a NEW GOVERNMENT ONE STOP SHOP Telecommunications Entity in the period 2010/2011.

The approach of the Government in this matter is similar to other areas where it has all or controlling interests vis-a-vis, BWIA, WASA, CUSTOMS AND THE BOARD OF INLAND REVENUE. In this regard, the CWU is putting its membership at 100% Government owned Hilton Hotel on RED ALERT, AS A DOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S MEDICINE IS ALSO BEING PREPARED FOR THEM.

The Communication Workers’ Union, together with the intelligent and powerful masses will not allow the highly paid Executives at TSTT to extricate themselves from the mess they have sheepishly allowed themselves to become embroiled in.

They have embarrassed the Government and themselves by their egotistical witch-hunt against the Communication Workers’ Union. Remember it was Mr. Roberto Peon who went on public television and stated that employees will be dismissed before due process was allowed to take place. Now that they were instructed to retreat he is conspicuously out of the country once again,

It is the Management of TSTT who contributed to the “all time low” relationship between parties by refusing to meet and treat in good faith with the Recognised Majority Union (CWU) on numerous issues affecting the Terms and Conditions of members of the Junior and Senior Staff Bargaining Units inclusive of the settlement of long outstanding negotiations for the Junior and Senior Staff employees of TSTT.

This is evident by the fact that there are as many as fifteen Industrial Relation Offences re: Failure to Meet an Treat on various requests for meetings to discuss matters related to our members which were sent to the Industrial Court for its attention. At present, there is no “Industrial Relations” partnership existing between the Management of TSTT and the Communication Workers’ Union. TSTT has created a dysfunctional relationship in an effort to carry out their plot to DECERTIFY the CWU.

As a result, this Union wishes to indicate that it would not abdicate its responsibility to defend its members by any means necessary once this Company continues to show contempt, disregard and disrespect for the Recognised Majority Union.

Now that the mobilization of the Trade Union Movement has caused them to retreat, we wish to indicate to TSTT, PTSC, and any other State Entity who wish to attack the working class that they should think again. WE DEPRECATE THIS BACKWARD AND ANTI PEOPLE BEHAVIOUR. The Progressive Independent Trade Union Movement will mobilize, organise and strategise to repel their wicked intentions and lead the march towards equity, the right to Trade Union representation, the right to collective bargaining and the maintenance of our democratic principles.

We call on the Government to follow-up on their directive for the withdrawal of the Industrial Relations Offence filed by TSTT aiming to Decertify the Communication Workers’ Union with the following:-

The immediate dismissals of CEO, Roberto Peon, VP- HR AND ADMINISTRATION. Edghill Messiah, VP-Finance – Rakesh Goswami, and VP Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Lisa Agard.

The establishment of a framework for the resolution of the long outstanding wage negotiations (remember TSTT employees are still working on 2005 salaries)

The unconditional withdrawal of the illegal suspensions of the sixty-eight (68) employees

The initiation of a process to create a functional working relationship between CWU and TSTT under new Progressive Thinking Leadership and;

The unconditional apology to the Communication Workers’ Union, TSTT workers and the wider working class for this attempted assault on their rights and freedom.

We say thanks to all those Trade Unions, Civil Society Organisations and other organizations who supported us in this struggle.