Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 6th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, June 6, 2015
The manager of a Chaguanas
restaurant threatened to forcibly
remove protesting members of the
Oilfields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) who picketed outside his
premises. They were objecting to a
prolonged delay in settling salary
negotiations for several organisa-
The protest happened minutes
before the union signed a nine per
cent collective agreement with the
National Training Agency (NTA) for
the period 2010 to 2013 at the Kam
Po Restaurant, Ramsaran Street.
The restaurant s manager, who
refused to speak to the media, told
the union members that they had to
vacate his premises as it was private
He threatened to call the police if
they did not comply with his
The protesting union members at
first ignored the manager but later
moved to the sidewalk after NTA
management asked them to comply.
First vice president of OWTU Carl-
ton Gibson said the union was con-
sidered "persona non grata" and felt
there were instructions from Gov-
ernment not to settle the negotia-
"We understand the game, OWTU
are persona non grata. There are
instructions not to complete nego-
tiations with OWTU. All the nego-
tiations in Petrotrin, NP, T&TEC,
Powergen, UWI and UTT are out-
"It is a wicked move by the Gov-
ernment to put pressure on the union
and by extension the working-class
people of T&T. That nonsense must
stop. But anyhow, in the short period
of time, citizens will intervene and
we will get rid of this treacherous
Government," Gibson said.
The OWTU members who
protested outside the restaurant yes-
terday came from companies whose
negotiations were outstanding.
None of the employees protesting
were from the NTA.
Gibson said while NTA workers
were happy with the agreement
signed, which would apply three per
cent to each year of the negotiating
period, there was no reason to cel-
"This negotiation took more than
five years to settle. It was unneces-
sarily long. We had three negotiators
from the union dealing with this issue
over the past five years," Gibson said.
He said proposals were sent to the
management of NTA in January 2010
and the first negotiations took place
in June 2010.
"Here we are five years and workers
have been suffering all this time and
the reason why it was completed was
because of the pressure put on the
management to get this settled.
"The workers have been struggling
for more than five years and it is
because of the political intervention
of the Government that caused this
to be protracted. It is very unfortu-
nate, notwithstanding we are about
to sign and we are in an expired peri-
od. They will now be receiving a
salary for a period already gone.
Over 100 employees will benefit
from the agreement.
"It is too little too late; nothing to
Gibson said the majority of out-
standing salary negotiations were for
periods which had already passed.
A construction worker was given
two months to pay over $10,000 in
fines and compensation when he
appeared in court yesterday charged
with larceny of $5,700.
Vishnu Partap pleaded guilty to the
charge of larceny when he appeared
before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark
Wellington in the San Fernando Mag-
According to the evidence, read by
court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan, on
July 11 and July 13, 2013, the victim
Jason Panchoree paid $5,700 to Partap
for foreign used car parts and acces-
The items were supposed to be
delivered within four months. How-
ever, the items were never delivered
and Panchoree never got his money
In March 2015, he filed a report with
the San Fernando CID and Partap was
detained on June 3.
Seedan said when Partap was ques-
tioned about the money he told inves-
tigators "Yes, I take the money from
Jason to buy the parts, but I did not
get the parts. I call him and tell him
I will pay him back."
Wellington chastised Partap for his
failure to repay the money that was
given him two years ago.
Partap s attorney, Ainsley Lucky,
told Wellington that his client had
given the money to an agent but after
that he had never seen or heard from
the agent again.
Wellington told him he would now
have to pay the money out of his own
He ordered Partap to pay $5,000 as
a fine for the charge of larceny or in
default face nine months in jail and
repay $5,700 to Panchoree.
Lucky asked the court to give his
client two months to pay the fines,
telling the court Partap was a con-
struction worker in Oropouche and
would pay the fines from his salary.
Wellington granted the time but told
Partap he should choose another line
of business to get into, as he did not
seem to have luck with selling car parts.
OWTU protests delay in other salary talks
9 per cent wage increase for NTA
Car parts dealer fined
$10,000 on larceny charge
Members of the OWTU during a protest outside the Kam Po Restaurant in Chaguanas yesterday, calling for a
settlement of all outstanding negotiations. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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