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TRADE UNIONS MUST DEMAND CLICO/CLF ANSWERS by Henry Hilton

posted 30 Aug 2017, 09:11 by Gerry Kangalee
The Prime Minister (PM) says that the most difficult challenge facing the government at this time is finding the money to pay workers. I am absolutely staggered. How can this be the case when 500 million dollars a year is going begging and we are provided no explanation? The PM himself has told us that no interest is charged on the money advanced to CLICO/CLF. In that case, please do something about it, and do it now.

CLICO/CLF must surely be the biggest issue for the unions at this time. There are so many troubling questions.

Why are the PM and Minister of Finance allowed to say that workers must suffer and that there is no money when so much is outstanding from CLICO/CLF and nothing is being done to recover it?

Why have we not demanded an inquiry into how dividends have been diverted and valuable assets sold while state appointees were in charge for all these years?

Why has the board of directors of CLF not been fired? If they cannot explain where all the dividends have gone, and why, they should be talking to the Fraud Squad.

What is the government’s plan for recovering the billions, or charging some interest while any is still outstanding? Every day’s delay costs about 2 million dollars.

Are ministers so incompetent that they cannot arrive at a contract with the shareholders that will guarantee repayment of debt and/or or interest until it is paid? With all their expensive consultants, surely they can find a way.

The status quo is not an option when workers are being sent home or asked to make sacrifices.

The level of incompetence that allowed dividends to slip through their grasp is mind boggling. The failure to address how we emerge from this debacle is even worse. This is more deserving of an inquiry than even the Sea Bridge fiasco.

Why do we permit them to escape without answering some hard questions? Is it that the movement does not understand that we lose more than 500 million every year under the current arrangement? The movement is failing its members while they give the government a pass on this.

Is it that the movement and the workers do not appreciate the stark reality? I hear no noises demanding explanation or action. We’re speaking of 500 million dollars per year just in interest even before having the money returned. How much difference will that make to the budget, and to wage negotiations? The movement should be pressing the government on this every single day. They should be demanding an urgent inquiry as to how this has been so badly managed according to the account given by the PM himself.

The movement will be doing the entire country a favour by making a powerful and relentless demand for an inquiry and a rapid negotiation out of this mess.
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