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NO ROOM FOR OLE TALK by Peter Garvey

posted 8 Aug 2017, 07:25 by Gerry Kangalee
Image may contain: 6 people, people standing and outdoorThere is no room for old talk in new business. So when the President General of the OWTU mounted the platform on Friday 4th August, 2017 to talk about a "boycott" that was just "ole talk"

One cannot seriously suggest a boycott without presenting a viable alternative; it is simply nonsensical and insensible to the working class of people who are consumers rather than retailers or manufacturers. So when Comrade Roget suggested (because it could not have been a command or demand coming from a rational thinking person) this boycott he was not serious. But let us not waste time on that point of "raging bulls*%t" and focus our minds on what the march was really meant to achieve.

On the face of it, it seemed that the Trade Unions wanted to have a sit down with the Prime Minister to tell him that his government is not performing in the best interest of the nation, because he's apparently too busy making the news to read or watch it himself. To force him to the table for those discussions, we (i.e. the "balance") are being asked to boycott the businesses owned by the 1% identified by Mario Sabga-Aboud in a recent documentary aired on CNN; these businesses have not yet been identified mind you, and it is almost four days post "march" (ah shakin' mi head and sighin'. Sad!).

So what is it "the balance" really marched for two days ago? I propose that it is a sort of roundabout backdoor strategy to re-form the National Tripartite Advisory Council (NTAC): a body that was instituted with much public fanfare and crashed with the same publicity. But for those of us in "the balance" who need a recap given our nine-day memories, these are the circumstances.

After numerous public statements and actions by the government and private employers that the Trade Union bodies attached to the NTAC had reason to believe could have been averted/remedied by convention of the stakeholders, the Trade Union bodies resigned themselves from the Council. This resignation came in the form of solidarity with the workers attached to the Tourism Development Company (TDC) after the Cabinet supported a closure of this State Enterprise without consultation with the Recognized Majority Union - the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

Now, if the Trade Union bodies want to re-enter that scenario, I would like them to remember that the debacle with the TDC is far from over, especially since there has been a parallel organization launched in Tobago. Notwithstanding that, the workers of the TDC had to go to the Court of Appeal in order to defend the injunction against the dissolution of the TDC that was handed down by the Industrial Court. So in short, the Government is adamant that the TDC has to be closed down without talking with the Union.

I have not heard anything concrete or credible from the Trade Union movement as it pertains to carrying Trinidad & Tobago forward. There has been no open education on the Labour Economic Alternative Plan (LEAP). In fact, I heard nothing about it on the platform. So how are we (I mean "the balance") to push that agenda without understanding how it will work to our benefit (shakin' mi head and sighin' again)?

So one bull is raging for a boycott and the other is raging for the reconstitution of a failed Council that failed to meet on important economic issues. If we as the working class of citizens do not find proper leaders quickly, we'll be up to our ears in raging bull*%t.
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