As the countdown to strike action against Petrotrin by the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) continues, troops of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force have set up camp at the Augustus Long Hospital in state-owned Petrotrin’s Pointe-A-Pierre refinery.
Scores of troops offloaded food and other supplies on Wednesday 15th February and occupied change rooms and other rooms at the hospital compound.
The hospital is close to the bond area which those in the know say will be placed under military control so that gas and diesel distribution will be handled by the military.
The OWTU served strike notice on Petrotrin on the morning of February 14th. According to the collective agreement the notice is 96 hours. This suggests that the strike should begin on Saturday 18th 2012.
Hundreds of workers gathered at the Pointe-A Pierre refinery and accompanied the OWTU executive as they served the notice on the company.
The meeting carded by the Minister of Labour with both parties at 6:00 pm on February 14th at the Ministry of Labour in San Fernando took place despite the strike notice being served.
Reports suggest that nothing of significance was achieved at the meeting and parties are expected to meet with the Minister on Thursday 16th February to continue discussions.