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posted 20 Jun 2013, 11:49 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 20 Jun 2013, 11:51 ]

Petrotrin, the integrated state-owned oil company, has issued letters offering Voluntary Separation of Employment (VSEP) to workers in the Industrial Relations, Effective Business and Learning and Development Departments.

The letters were issued on Friday 14th June 2013 and the workers were given one week to decide on the offer. The issuing of the VSEP offers was a major talking point among Petrotrin workers at the June 19th celebrations.
Sources familiar with the situation have told this website the company’s action could be interpreted in one of two ways. The first is that Petrotrin is getting rid of these workers in order to replace them with others who are connected to politicians and PP movers and shakers.
The second, and more likely, scenario is that Petrotrin is testing the waters in an effort to re-introduce the job elimination programme which was being put together in 2010 and which involved sending home up to 2,000 workers. The idea is that the company would float the VSEP in what could be considered “soft areas” and gauge the reaction among its workforce before proceeding further.
The workers in the departments that have been offered VSEP are excluded from the bargaining units in the company and do not belong to a recognised majority union. This does not prevent the affected workers from seeking union protection as individuals because unions can represent any worker in a rights dispute. The vast majority of Petrotrin workers belong to the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU). 

Petrotrin has more than five thousand employees, is the largest oil producer in the country with approximately 44,000 barrels of oil per day and owns the only petroleum refinery with a throughput of 175,000 barrels per day. 

According to its Consolidated Statement of Financial Position for 2011, the company has total assets of $40 billion; paid $2.6 billion in taxes and made an after tax profit of $2.2 billion. It seems we may 
be in for another period of turmoil in oil.