Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 15th 2015 Contents RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Although its parent company
filed for bankruptcy protection
two weeks ago, Brazilian construc-
tion firm OAS Construtora has
told the T&T Government it is in
good financial condition and will
be able to complete the $7.4 billion
Solomon Hochoy Highway Exten-
sion by May 2016.
An OAS team, including country
superintendent Rodrigo Ventura
and several board directors, met
with Works Minister Dr Suruj Ram-
bachan and National Infrastructure
Development Company (Nidco)
chairman Dr Carson Charles on
Monday to discuss concerns about
Charles later told reporters that
contrary to claims made by Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, he
had no information that OAS was
withholding payments to local con-
"If this is happening, we have
received no reports. I will have to
find out whether this is so," Charles
He said that dozens of local con-
tractors and suppliers were also
providing goods and services to
OAS, the main contractor on the
billion-dollar highway project.
Charles said OAS directors from
Brazil flew to T&T last week to dis-
cuss the project.
"Despite constraints in Brazil,
that is not preventing the company
from doing work here. We under-
stand that OAS s parent company
filed for bankruptcy protection,
which is a provision whereby the
court gives them protection to pay
off their debts in an orderly fashion
by selling assets. The protection
order gives them time to satisfy all
their creditors," Charles said.
"OAS chairman and members of
the board have informed us of how
they plan to complete the work.
The plan seems feasible and we are
"We continue to pay them for
such works they have undertaken.
We took a loan so we have the
money. OAS operations in Trinidad
are continuing because our pay-
ments are up to date."
Charles said OAS would give
weekly updates to Nidco and the
ministry on the progress of the
"If you go on the site you will
see works are still going on. They
are busy working on the segment
from St Mary s Junction to Grant
Road," Charles said.
He said once the road was
inspected and passed it would be
opened later this month.
Rambachan said he asked OAS
officials to ensure that all local con-
tractors were paid and they assured
him the company was making
timely payments. He said if any
contractor was having problems
with payments they should make
a report to Nidco, the supervisory
Local contractors, including Kalco
Limited, said yesterday that they
were being paid on time.
"We are not sure if suppliers and
other contractors are being affect-
ed," a Kalco official said.
Sources told the T&T Guardian
there had been delays in the past
with payment of fees to some con-
tractors, including Ansad Services
Limited. A source at Namalco Con-
struction Services also said the
company ended its relationship
with OAS in 2012 because of prob-
lems with payment of fees.
At a political meeting last week,
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
had warned that the highway proj-
ect was in trouble because Brazilian
company OAS Grupo, OAS Con-
strutora s parent company, was in
the midst of bankruptcy proceed-
ings due to the corruption scandal
it was currently embroiled in.
"Right now I could tell you that
the accounts office there is without
any local input. Only Brazilians
inside there operating with a satel-
lite to a bankrupt company in Brazil
and of course, the local contractors
who have been working for them
are now in great danger because
they are not being paid and they
are hoping that this will remain
silent until after election."
Earlier this month, Grupo OAS
sought bankruptcy protection fol-
lowing a corruption scandal involv-
ing one of its biggest customers,
state-owned energy company
Petrobras. The company filed for
court protection to renegotiate its
debts with creditors and suppliers
because its access to finance has
been severely restricted since the
end of last year.
OAS executives, along with offi-
cials from some of Brazil s largest
construction firms, have been
charged with money laundering,
corruption and criminal conspiracy
in an alleged kickback and bribe
scandal at Petrobras.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 14TH APRIL, 2015
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, right, jokes with Oilfields Workers' Trade
Union president general Ancel Roget before the start of yesterday's meeting
between the PNM and the Joint Trade Union Movement at the Bankers and
General Workers' Union's headquarters in Barataria. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
The Joint Trade Union Movement s unimple-
mented 2010 Workers Agenda has been incor-
porated into the People s National Movement
draft labour policy.
The five-year-old document was first presented
to the People s Partnership back in April 2010
but was never used over the five-year period of
JTUM leader Ancel Roget met with PNM leader
Dr Keith Rowley yesterday at the Banking and
Industrial Workers Union (BIGWU) office in
Barataria and, after a four-hour long session, the
two men said they had agreed to most of the
points presented by the labour group.
While the Workers Agenda is a comprehensive
document, both groups hashed out eight priority
points to be worked on immediately.
However, Roget denied that the PNM s support
for the Workers Agenda would garner union sup-
port for the party.
He said he was pleased with the PNM draft
document but was still overly cautious about
pledging political support for any party after being
"burned badly" by the current administration
over the past five years.
Rowley said while the Workers Agenda influ-
enced the PNM draft document, there was no
We can complete
OAS assures Govt
Dr Carson Charles
PNM talks labour with JTUM
wholehearted acceptance of all that labour had
Both parties said they would continue to fine
tune the agenda in the national interest.
The JTUM presented the document to three
political parties, including the Independent Liberal
Party and the Movement for Social Justice, last
The MSJ responded immediately, whereas the
PNM was the second political party to meet with
The labour movement is expected to meet with
the ILP next week to discuss its take on the Work-
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