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posted 13 Mar 2013, 11:21 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 14 Mar 2013, 02:30 ]
On the morning of March 13th 2013, workers at the Petrotrin refinery in Pointe-A-Pierre, members of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union, gathered outside the gates and rallied at the roundabout instead of reporting for work. This website understands that workers at Petrotrin’s Santa Flora and at Point Fortin Central fields mirrored the action of their comrades at Pointe -A-Pierre.

The workers at Pointe-A-Pierre were addressed by their branch leaders and discussed the issues that drove them to take the drastic action they did. The workers were vociferous in their denunciation of management’s action in continually and illegally interfering with their terms and conditions of work as laid down in their collective agreement.
 Workers told NWU representative Rae Samuel that they were particularly incensed at management’s refusal to pay the variable pay owing for 2009-2010. They say that this issue has been hanging fire for too long and needs to be settled immediately.
They claimed that the removal of travel upkeep must be reversed and that management had unilaterally
 interfered with merit payments. Senior positions were being filled, they said, by personnel from outside the company, many of them seeming to be on the basis of nepotism.

There were charges that shop areas in the refinery were being badly maintained and run down so that
OWTU Pointe-A-Pierre Branch President Roger Stewart
contractors can be brought in and, of course, ridiculously low wages paid to the contractor workers.
Much concern was expressed about the poor treatment meted out to retirees as it pertains to their access to medical services. While top management personnel abuse and misuse the facility of the medical plan, retired workers are railroaded into seeking attention elsewhere than at the medical facilities at Petrotrin. The union has submitted proposals for upgrading the medical plan.

Workers assured the NWU representative that they are determined to have these long outstanding issues settled and settled expeditiously.