Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 24th 2015 Contents Wednesday s fires occurred hours after workers at
the site had staged a third day of protest. While the
workers denied they were involved in the starting of
the fire, they continued their protest action yester-
dayMeanwhile, the Environment Management Author-
ity (EMA) chairman Dr Allan Bachan yesterday said
the smoke coming from the landfill poses no threat
to public safety.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
Friday, April 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 23RD APRIL, 2015
Even as thick smoke from smouldering
fires at the Beetham landfill covered some
parts of Port-of-Spain and forced National
Petroleum to shut down its operations,
Local Government Minister Marlene
Coudray says there is no plan at this time
to relocate the facility.
However, Coudray said her ministry has
invited consultants to look at the landfill
sites, including those at Claxton Bay and
Guanapo, and to make proposals for them.
Speaking at the post-Cabinet news con-
ference at the San Fernando Teaching Hos-
pital, Coudray also took the protesting Solid
Waste Management Company Ltd (Swmcol)
workers to task for what she termed their
illegal action to settle wage negotiations.
"The action taken by workers is illegal
and contrary to the provisions of the Indus-
trial Act (IRA). They are an essential service
and therefore we have to look at those issues
in terms of unions, workers who are employ-
ing illegal means to settle wage negotiations.
We are dealing with this," Coudray said.
Swmcol chair Nalini Sooklal, who has
been asked to investigate and take necessary
action to prevent that from happening again,
yesterday promised the landfill will be up
and running today.
Coudray said the Fire Services and Swm-
col were continuing investigations into the
cause of the fire and what preventative
measures could be implemented.
She said there had been increased security
by the police, Defence Force, National Oper-
ations Centre (NOC) and CCTV surveil-
"The situation at the site will continue
to be monitored by the agencies and a series
of meetings are to be held to further explore
plans to initiate a security approach, not
only for Beetham but for other landfill sites
at Guanapo and Forres Park (Claxton Bay),"
On the Swmcol negotiations, Coudray
said Finance Minister Larry Howai had man-
dated minister in the ministry Rudy Indars-
ingh to meet with the union and update
them on the progress that had taken place.
But yesterday, Sooklal promised the site
would be running today, saying they had
the fires which started on Wednesday, under
"WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority),
along with the regional corporations and
the T&T Fire Services, have been working
night and day to get the fire out. We don t
have large flames now. The ground is smoul-
dering and this is causing most of the smoke.
There is a bushfire nearby but we anticipate
that it will burn out shortly," she added.
She said Swmcol had implemented new
methods to extinguish fires after a similar
one in January 2014 and that helped.
Swmcol CEO Sharma Lalla said the fires
were deliberately set but he said they could
not tell who had set it.
Transport and Industrial
Workers' Union president
Roland Sutherland and a
large group of protesting
Training and Security Com-
pany (MTS) workers failed
to get a meeting with Chief
Personnel Officer (CPO)
Stephanie Lewis yesterday.
Sutherland led the dis-
gruntled workers in an
attempt to have an
impromptu meeting with the
COP to discuss the delay in
starting negotiations for a
new collective agreement.
He said the workers were
among the lowest paid in the
country and were demanding
increased wages, adding they
were still receiving 2011
Chanting "no money, no
work," the workers pounded
the St Vincent Street pave-
ment for hours seeking an
audience from the CPO but
to no avail.
Sutherland said the union
had four meetings with the
company, which provides
maintenance and security
services at government
schools, hospitals and other
offices across the country,
but it did not make any offer
to the union.
"It is negotiations in bad
faith," he added.
He said based on informa-
tion at his disposal "the CPO
is the keep back" but said
the workers were not going
to sit back and allow that sit-
uation to prevail.
Yesterday s protest,
Sutherland said, was to
determine the reason or rea-
sons for the delay in nego-
tiations for a new collective
agreement. He said the work-
ers may have to visit the
office of the Minister of
Finance and the Economy to
"We may have to go to him
to get some assistance to have
this matter expedited. It was
unfortunate for workers to
resort to this kind of action
to get their money," he added.
MTS marches on CPO's office
As consultants study Beetham landfill...
No relocation plans, Coudray
A masked MTS worker protests with her colleagues outside the office of the CPO on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
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