Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 19th 2015 Contents 5
Friday June 19, 2015 • Issue 181
Peter Ray Blood
Active trade unionist Clyde Elder is the
Deputy Secretary General of the Commu-
nication Workers' Union (CWU) and has
been employed at the Telecommunication
Services of T&T Limited (TSTT) since
1998. Hailing from Carapal, a small village
in Erin South Trinidad, he was born on De-
cember 15, 1977 and now resides in Hick-
ling Village, Fyzabad, the birth place of the
Trade Union movement.
Elder attended Rancho Quemado Govern-
ment School, Iere High School Siparia and is
also a student of the Cipriani College of
Labour and Co-operative Studies where he
is finishing his Bachelor of Art Degree in
Labour Studies. He and his common law
wife, Natasha Richardson, have a seven-
year-old son and they are expecting another
"I joined a Union to ensure that my rights
and the rights of others were not only pro-
tected but advanced at TSTT and in T&T,"
said the 37-year-old trade union executive.
He added: "At the time I joined, Lyle
Townsend was leader of the Union and he
as well as Frankie Williams and Kay
Cromwell (officers of the Southern Branch
of the Union at that time) informed me
about what the Union is and what it does.
Their representation impressed me and con-
vinced me to be a part of the Communica-
tion Workers' Union."
Elder doesn't believe that trade unions
have become redundant and offer nothing
positive to young workers. He said: "Trade
Unions are relevant to young people today. It
ensures that basic rights such as maternity
leave, sick leave, health and safety, vacation
leave and basic conditions at work are pres-
ent and advanced. The problem is though
that generally, young people do not think
that Trade Unions are relevant to them."
Trade unions offer checks and balances
for the lowly paid worker said Elder. He
added: "In terms of income, unions attract
low to middle income workers since they
generally are the most exploited types of
workers. However, unions attract workers
who have gotten into some kind of work re-
lated issue or problem."
Elder said part of his responsibility as a
union executive is to attract young people to
trade unionism. "Someone should join a
Trade Union to ensure that their basic
human rights are respected," he opined.
"Also, that they are protected at work from
being victimised by their employer and also
to advance their own interest as well as
workers on a whole."
"All workers are eligible to join a union.
However, young tertiary level graduates who
are being recruited into management are
more what I refer to as financial mercenar-
ies, who are simply looking for the next high
paying job and thinks that unions may hin-
der that. It is really an individualistic concept
which opposes the collective concept."
As a young and vibrant union activist and
officer, Elder is on a high and optimistic
about the future of trade unionism in T&T.
He said: "I would like to see my union im-
prove paternity leave and pay more atten-
tion to family life of their officers."
Unions are all about supporting
their members at work. Those in-
volved in the union movement be-
lieve that all aspects of working life
should be the subject of discussion
and agreement between employers
and employees who are organised
together under the protection of a
trade union. Trained representatives
of the union lead this initiative and
provide help and assistance to mem-
bers. People generally join a union in
order to get access to one or a com-
bination of the following benefits:
As an Union member, you will al-
ways be consulted and your views are
always valued, particularly during ne-
gotiations with employers. Union ne-
gotiators are always trained in getting
the best deal on your behalf.
Who would you turn to if you had
to go through a disciplinary procedure
at work or if you had to bring a griev-
ance against your employer? If you
were being bullied, harassed or dis-
criminated against at work, what
would you do?
Union members turn to their work-
place representatives. Unions train
workplace representatives to advise,
support and represent members on a
wide range of workplace problems.
Health and Safety
Do you feel that your employer is
looking after your health and safety at
work? Are you being exposed to risks
that you don't think you should be? If
you had an accident at work whom
would you turn to for objective, accu-
rate legal advice and support?
Union health and safety reps have
legal rights to raise your concerns and
to take action to prevent accidents
In short, unions are experts in help-
ing people resolve problems at work.
They add value to the organisations
that employ their members by ensur-
ing fair, safe and discrimination free
employment practices, which in turn
promote loyalty, flexibility and produc-
tivity. They are expert campaigners
for industrial and social change - a
positive force in the economy har-
nessing the strength and energy of its
Closely following its one year anniver-
sary, Trend Media Group, the leading
Caribbean digital media company and
publishers of the number one online
news app and website in the Caribbean,
Loop, has unveiled the newest version of
its app, which will see customers enjoy-
ing an improved experience when they
update or download the app from the
Android, Windows and Apple app store.
Already operating in the Cayman Islands,
Barbados, Curacao, Jamaica and Trinidad
and Tobago, Loop's upgrade will see cus-
tomers experiencing its new layouts and
features -- in line with plans to make the
app available in more countries in this year.
Commenting on the new version, Trend
Media Group CEO, Richie Kelly, said, "Our
customers spoke and we heard them loud
and clear. With innovation at the forefront
of our operations, coupled with best in
class service, we would like to say thank
you to our over 450,000 valued customers
who have made Loop the number one
news app in the Caribbean in just one year."
He further explained; "With the newest
upgrade to the app, customers will now
enjoy a sleeker design and an easy to ac-
cess application and website layout. In ad-
dition, we have strategically partnered with
some of the world's leading apps to pro-
vide our clients with value added services
and we are happy to be first in the region
with our offerings as a true online full serv-
ice digital agency."
Customers can simply update or down-
load Loop in the Android, Windows and
Apple app store to get the latest news and
more. As Trend Media forges ahead to pro-
vide best in class experience for its cus-
tomers, the Loop mobile application sup-
port for versions of BlackBerry older than
BB10 will be discontinued come June 10,
Trend Media took the decision after
feedback from its users and an exhaustive
examination of current market trends, as
well as the technological challenges associ-
ated with developing a quality product for
customers on the pre-BB10 BlackBerry
Research shows that only three per cent
of the entire Loop customer base uses
BlackBerry versions that are older than
Blackberry10, as smartphone demand and
market share in the Caribbean continues
to shift away from this legacy software. To
this end, despite the discontinuation of app
support, pre-BB10 users can still access
the Loop websites after 10th June 2015.
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