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posted 6 Jun 2011, 06:30 by Gerry Kangalee

Workers at the head office of National Gas Company (NGC) Point Lisas, Couva have initiated protest action to get the Minister of Energy to address the issue of outstanding wages...more

Led by Michael Babb, Chairperson of the Managers Employees' Committee the workers have held three lunchtime protest meetings outside the Company's offices in the last two weeks. The wage adjustment is outstanding since 2009. 

N.G.C. workers are not unionised and this committee makes representation on behalf of the workers and some managers. Their wages are based on market surveys done in the energy sector. 

"N.G.C. is the flagship of the energy sector but this is not reflected in our wages. Rather than being near the top or in the midrange, our situation is nearer to the bottom. Is that a way to treat a flagship?" Babb said while addressing the national media, "we have been advised that the Board and the Company's upper management have approved the payments and forwarded this approval to the line Minister. However there has been no response forthcoming” 

The workers are calling on the wider labour movement to support their struggle, since they see the Minister's response as simply a way of imposing the 5% wage limit facing other workers in the country.

On the issue of becoming unionised, Babb stated that efforts had been made before but it is now a priority item on the agenda.

The government’s policy of wage suppression is even beginning to stir non-unionised workers. What a thing!