Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2015 Contents A25
Friday, June 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Pipeline operations by MVs Michael M Kathy
M, Kenneth O and barge Winston B, towing
pipelines of up to 2000 feet in length in
progress between La Romaine Bay Area and
Main Soldado Oilfield will continue until 31st
A wide berth and caution is advised
25th February 2015
Beverly Phillip Director of Maritime
Services Maritime Services Division
Ministry of Transport
WITH WENDY RAHAMUT
CALL 3570927 TO REGISTER
Labour day will be celebrated
today in Trinidad and Tobago.
It is an annual public holiday
that originated in 1973. It is the
anniversary of the Butler Oilfield
Riots which took place in 1937.
In September 1937 the OWTU
became the first registered trade
union in the country. Social unrest
gave rise to labour leaders like But-
ler, Weeks, Rienzi and CLR James.
A labour or trade union is an
organisation of workers dedicated to
protecting members interests and
improving working conditions for
all.It is an organised group of work-
ers who unite to make decisions
about conditions affecting their
work. Unions negotiate good and
fair contracts, give their members
good representation on the job and
provide them with multiple benefits.
Unified members benefit from the
union s collective bargaining power
to negotiate with employers on their
This basic right gives one as a
union member more power than if
you tried to negotiate on your own.
There is strength in numbers.
Are you aware that union workers
make more than non-union work-
Union workers have job related
health coverage as compared to
nonunion workers. Union workers
are more likely to have guaranteed
pensions than nonunion employees.
Unions protect employees from
unjust dismissal through collective
bargaining agreements. A unionised
worker cannot be dismissed without
just cause. A non-unionised worker
is an at will employee and can be
fired at any time for almost any
Union members have the collec-
tive power to strike. A strike can be
used to protest labour conditions or
as a bargaining tool during negotia-
Unions are associated with higher
productivity, lower employee
turnover, improved workplace com-
munication and a better-trained
workforce. With unions, low wage
employees can get out of poverty
and there is a stronger middle class.
Benefits of union membership:
as a union member one is
ensured fair treatment in the
One has a voice regarding:
pay and wages
benefits-sick leave, vacation,
workplace health and safety
There are also benefits that
are derived from unions:
the occupational safety and
Everyone knows what to do after
the fire has been extinguished. In
life everyone has a price, it can vary
from a drink to a political appoint-
ment. People forget from whence
they came.There is always a Judas
around, but we must forgive. Best
wishes to all citizens on the occa-
sion of labour day. Let us acknowl-
edge those that came before and
laid the foundation. There is always
room for improvement. Unions are
good for all in this country. Unity is
strength. Keep the faith.
See you in Fyzabad Friday.
Civil society, NGOs and CBOs'
roles are as catalysts to bring
about co-operation between
agencies that are otherwise con-
strained by bureaucracies. Civil
society and NGOs are the voice
of the people.
Our policies and actions are
and must always be based on
facts, sustainability and wise use.
We network, locally, regionally
We identify possible impacts
and recommend specific studies
that can provide information on
anticipated or previously experi-
enced negative impacts and thus
offer effective solutions.
We are diverse, some of us are
fiercely independent, we stand up
for what we believe in, but we
are unified in our goals for the
betterment of our peoples and
We can and do effectively
lobby, as respected, independent,
Together, there is a pool of ex-
pertise, which can be tapped; our
advantage being, again, the lack
We ensure that balanced, ra-
tional solutions to conflicts be-
tween "economic development"
on one hand and the preservation
of the natural environment and
thus quality of life for people, on
the other, are examined and
heard...if not always reached! Per-
haps some recent examples
come to mind!
Civil society groups play a criti-
cal role in holding those in au-
thority accountable for their deci-
sions and actions.
What is the future for us?
Where do we go from here? Well,
if the views of the people, NGOs
and civil society are not heard; if
there is no full and sincere con-
sultation and our views are not
reflected in the positions of our
prominent private sector, our
cumbersome state institutions,
the governments of the day...our
already overtaxed resources will
be increasingly over-exploited
The presence of NGOs, civil so-
ciety, working together with gov-
ernment and governmental
departments, can provide, will
provide a co-agency, bridging
gaps, reducing conflicts and en-
suring sustainable exploration
and development...rather than ex-
That is our role, our intention,
our goal. That is the way forward!
Molly R Gaskin
Editor's note: Molly Gaskin
is president of the Pointe-a-
Pierre Wildfowl Trust
Iwas extremely pleased to note
that we still have a few persons
of integrity in this country.
I refer to the two directors of
Clico who resigned as a matter of
principle after their fellow directors
were fired by the Central Bank.
Whether you are on the side of
the Central bank or not in this mat-
ter, the two directors showed class
in their stand.
Well done. We need a lot more
persons of this ilk in public life.
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AN ODE TO
LABOUR DAY Role of civil society in T&T
Gerard Johnson, general manager, Caribbean Country Department,
IDB, chats with Molly Gaskin, president of the Pointe-a-Pierre
Wildfowl Trust, during a recent forum marking World
Take a bow, Clico directors
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