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natuc cossabo endorses hunger march

posted 13 Feb 2011, 06:28 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 13 Feb 2011, 06:38 ]

The COSSABO organised by the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) on February 12th 2011 at TIWU Hall endorsed a programme of action which includes a night vigil in Port of Spain on March 11th; a Hunger March from Aranjuez to Port of Spain on 19th March and what has been described by some as a national sick out on March 21st


As expected there was a very small turnout (about sixty five) of officers and shop stewards, except for Contractors and General Workers’ Trade Union (CGWTU), although there were thirteen unions present including the Public Services Association (PSA) National Workers’ Union, the Maxi Taxi Association and the Custom Brokers’ Association. The Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) sent an apology for its absence.

As expected the COSSABO was dominated by those who sat at the head table. There were long presentations and interventions from the president of NATUC, former Senator and UDECOTT Board member Michael Annisette.

He reported that NATUC’s executive had met with the prime minister who indicated that there were discussions taking place with unions about a social compact! He kept harping on, as he and OWTU’s Ancel Roget have of late, on the issue of workers’ productivity and he launched a bitter invective against trade union unity when, as he said, there was disrespect from the so-called progressives in the movement.

Also addressing the COSSABO were: Vice President Joefield of the PSA; President of the Steel Workers Union (SWUTT), Lex Lovell; President of CGWTU Ainsley Matthews. James Lambert, President of the National Union of Government and Federated Workers’ (NUGFW) made a presentation in which he burst into song.

There were presentations from the floor from union reps representing NUGFW, Seamen and Waterfront Workers’ Trade Union and National Workers’ Union.

CGWTU’s Ainsley Matthews described the Cossabo as NATUC’s first. They certainly need to realise that a COSSABO is not yet another arena for trade union leaders to gallery themselves but a forum where the frontline union reps are motivated to participate in making analysis and recommendations about the matter under discussion.

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