Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2014 Contents A9
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As political parties gear up for next year s gen-
eral election, president general of the Oilfields
Workers Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget says
there will be no honeymoon for the next govern-
ment unless labour issues are addressed.
Despite the union's history of campaigning for
and against political parties in previous elections,
Roget said the OWTU would not be endorsing any
particular party as it did with the People's Part-
nership in 2010.
As the union plans action to stamp out contract
labour in T&T, he said it had already written to
the People's National Movement, the Independent
Liberal Party and the Movement for Social Justice,
calling on them to state their positions on workers'
However, he omitted the People's Partnership
from discussions, saying it had promised to provide
decent working conditions in its 2010 manifesto
but had since trampled on workers' rights.
He said the letters should have reached the polit-
ical parties by today and the union was awaiting
Roget sent the messages at the Joint Trade Union
Movement's (JTUM) Day of Action to Spot Pre-
carious Work seminar at Paramount Building, San
It was one of several events being taken worldwide
by members of the Industrial Global Union as they recognised yesterday as World Day for
The union's intention was to address
contract labour, health and safety issues
at the workplace and job insecurity in
In his opening remarks, Roget recalled
that in 2010, Prime Minister Kamla Per-
sad-Bissessar, then opposition leader, came
to the OWTU office, asking for the union's
support in the general election.
He said after taking office, Persad-
Bissessar backtracked on her promise to
implement the workers' agenda and waged
an attack against trade unions.
Saying the union would not be tricked
again, he added: "That experience over
the years, in particular over the last four
years, has taught us a lesson and although
I am not at liberty to say what procedures
will be put in place, rest assured that it
will be quite different from previous years.
"The colossal response to any kind of
retraction or any reneging on their position
will be met with immediate force very
early in their term of office, whoever it is.
"There shall be no honeymoon at all
for anyone because our position is that
these issues are urgent and they ought to
"We were neglected by the People's
Partnership and anybody seeking to govern
this country ought to listen to and artic-
ulate their position on the workers' agenda
and that is what we are about."
No honeymoon for next govt---Roget
Against contract work
Focusing on contract work, Roget said many employers were opting to
hire workers on contract instead of permanent positions in order to
relieve themselves from having to pay benefits.
He said some workers were even being fooled into leaving their jobs in
the public service to take up contract positions.
That, he said, led to employers violating workers' rights and collective
agreements, meaning that workers were not being afforded job security.
In one instance, he said, a worker had been on a month-to-month
contract for the past nine years and cannot even go to the bank for a
President general of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union
Ancel Roget addresses yesterday's Day of Action to Spot
Precarious Work seminar at the union's Paramount
Building headquarters, San Fernando.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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