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posted 19 Jul 2011, 22:19 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 26 Jul 2011, 14:45 ]
In its ongoing negotiations with the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union, the management of the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has reluctantly and shamefacedly put on the table a proposal to eliminate the indexed Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) the workers now enjoy and to substitute a fixed COLA of $160 per month.

The offer was made to the union on Friday 15th July. It confirmed more than two months of rumours that had been swirling through the Commission’s workplaces since the parties last met on May 3rd. At that meeting parties had agreed in principle on a number of cost items. At the meeting of Friday July 15th, the Commission’s team reneged on its agreements in principle and proposed the elimination of indexed COLA.

Sources within T&TEC claim that TTEC’s management is very unhappy with the instructions being remitted by their political superiors and are convinced that the already poor industrial relations climate will suffer a turn for the worse.

The workers have already begun to step up their activity in protest against the Commission’s oppressive action and have told this website that they intend to “tie the goat short” and cannot guarantee a safe and reliable electricity supply.

While mouthing empty statements devoid of significance about wanting “industrial peace”, the People’s Partnership government is anteing up the stakes in its effort to implement its policy of wage suppression by widening their scope of attack.

The People’s Partnership should be warned that when their spiritual ancestor the NAR government imposed a wage freeze and took away workers’ indexed COLA, the T&TEC workers, in particular and the members of the OWTU in general, stood their ground and struggled like hell to maintain indexation and they succeeded!

The government does not seem to comprehend the biting power of  the ants nest they have just interfered with, but as the saying goes, those who do not learn the lessons of history...(see video clip)