Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 8th 2015 Contents A5
Thursday, October 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A A C E
After labelling the $15 mil-
lion allocation to the labour
movement as a surprise, the
Joint Trade Union Move-
ment (JTUM) yesterday
denied it was a pay-off for
JTUM s support of the PNM.
After 20 JTUM members
met for close to six hours, the
group took a decision which
they will convey to Finance
Minister Colm Imbert today.
A source close to the group
said it was likely that JTUM
would decline the $15 million
administrations have given
allocations to the labour
movement in the past.
The National Trade Union
Centre (NTUC) had previously
received allocations of
The emergency meeting of
JTUM members took place at
the Banking Insurance and
General Workers Union
(BIGWU) office, Barataria,
where members discussed
whether they would accept
the money announced on
Monday by Imbert.
The allocation has raised
some concern from the public
as well as the Opposition.
Opposition MP Suruj Ram-
bachan asked, through a Face-
book post, whether the allo-
cation was a payback.
JTUM leader Ancel Roget
told the media yesterday
JTUM viewed the allocation
as a recognition by the Peo-
ple s National Movement
(PNM) administration of the
significant role the labour
movement played in the
T&T s economy.
"We have taken a firm
decision but out of respect
we will send our decision to
the minister before informing
the public," Roget said.
The letter is expected to be
sent to Imbert this morning.
Roget, as well as several
other JTUM members, met
with both Labour Minister
Jennifer Baptiste-Primus and
Imbert last week.
He said at no time in dis-
cussions prior to the election
or at meetings with the Min-
ister of Labour or the Minister
of Finance did JTUM raise
such an issue.
"We discussed national
issues, bringing back state
enterprises and issues regard-
ing the economy, as well as a
balance to negotiations settled
and negotiations unsettled
even in dire economic times."
However, Roget admitted
discussion of an allocation
was raised at the meeting.
He added: "The ministers
did talk about an allocation
to JTUM but nowhere in our
wildest dreams did we think
of this quantum.
"We will like to believe that
it is in recognition of the role
of labour. We are responsible
for productivity levels in this
"The country is in dire need
of being put back on the right
track and this can only be
done through the efforts of
all workers. We did not make
such a request."
Asked about concerns that
the allocation was a pay-off,
Roget said that was not true.
He added: "It certainly can-
not, is not and will not be a
buyout of the trade union
movement and its leadership.
We could make the argument
that would not be enough.
"It is for that we express
our appreciation. However,
the situation needs to be dis-
cussed thoroughly as it is tax-
payers money that will be
allocated in such a quantum
for the first time to the labour
"We should have proper
and thorough discussions as
to its acceptance and its use
"Because we are dealing
with taxpayers money, the
highest levels of transparency
and accountability must be
brought to bear on the allo-
cation and in fact any allo-
cation of the Budget.
A joint anti-crime exercise in northeast
Trinidad by police officers attached to
Eastern Division Task Force and members
of CID Sangre Grande led to the arrest
of five people and seizure of $200,000
Three family members were among the
six held at their Grande Riviere home late
on Tuesday evening.
Police acting on information searched
the house around 4 pm and found the
marijuana packed in several plastic bags
in a bedroom.
A father, mother and their daughter, who
were in the house reportedly tried to escape
by jumping through a window when the
police arrived but they were caught.
The family of three were arrested and
the marijuana seized.
Later, also in the northeast district,
police stopped a car and searched it and
found six small bails of compressed mar-
ijuana under the left front passenger seat
of the vehicle.
The 30-year-old driver, who gave his
address as Champ Fleurs and works as a
PH driver, was arrested.
While police officers were travelling
back to Sangre Grande, they stopped a
red and white maxi-taxi with three occu-
The police officer ordered the driver
and passengers out. They were searched
and police discovered 65 grammes of cured
marijuana in a plastic bag carried by a
20-year-old man who was arrested. Sgt Keith Leon, third from right, is assisted by other officers in weighing the seized marijuana.
PHOTO: RALPH BANWARIE
$200,000 in marijuana
seized in Grand Riviere
JTUM: $15m not pay-off
Unionists may decline allocation
Boost for policing techniques---Dillon
Improvements in policing tech-
niques, intelligence-gathering, inves-
tigations and the operations of the
Forensic Science Centre, St James, are
on the front burner to combat crime.
This comes from National Security
Minister, (retired) Major General
Edmund Dillon, as he justified the $10.8
billion budgetary allocation for his min-
Delivering the feature address at yes-
terday s health and safety conference
hosted by the American Chamber of
Commerce at the Hyatt Regency, Port-
of-Spain, Dillon said an integrated
approach would be adopted when it
came to national security.
He said: "At the tactical level, we will
enhance policing techniques while
adopting a scientific investigation strat-
"This strategy will have as its back-
bone an increased collaboration and
operational investigative integration
between frontline police officers, crime
scene investigators, detectives, the
Forensic Science Division and intelli-
gence agencies in a co-ordinated and
integrated security approach."
He told members of the business
community the intention of the new
measures was to strengthen account-
ability, effectiveness, professionalism
and responsibility "from every officer
in T&T Police Service, in the T&T
Defence Force and other agencies."
Determined to "win the war" on
crime, he said no one agency could
handle the many challenges ahead and
that meant there must be collabora-
Speaking to reporters after the open-
ing ceremony, he said the first task to
be completed in his ministry was to
prioritise how the budgetary allocation
would be utilised.
"There s always a gap between strat-
egy and resources. Therefore, the first
order of business is putting things in
priority to ensure the agencies of
national security get what they need
in terms of carrying out their duties
effectively and efficiently, in terms of
providing the necessary resources,
equipment, the tools and the processes
and systems to ensure they conduct
their business to ensure we have a con-
trol of crime and criminality in T&T."
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