Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 19th 2015 Contents A51
Saturday, December 19, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
COMMUNICATING THE TRUTH
THE CWU EXPOSES THE EXPLOITATION OF RETIREES AT THE TRINIDAD HILTON
The Communication Workers' Union, (CWU), would like to
expose what can only be described as a travesty of justice
and a wicked and inhumane act perpetrated on over one
hundred retired workers of the Trinidad Hilton and
Conference Centre, some of whom have over 40 years of
service at the Hotel. This act is an extension of the uncaring
nature of the current General Manager, Barbadian Leroy
Browne, who has created a very contentious working
environment since his appointment to the position some
four (4) years ago.
To put some context to this situation, the Hilton does not
have a Pension Plan for members of the Bargaining Unit that
is represented by the Union. Despite our best efforts, Mr.
Browne has refused to agree to the introduction of a
contributory Pension Plan for workers of the Bargaining Unit.
Workers are required to work until they attain the age of
sixty-five (65) before they can retire. When they retire, they
are not entitled to any Pension Payment but are afforded a
lump-sum payment based on an agreed formula as spelt out
in the collective agreement, based on their years of service
to at the Hotel.
The Union has discovered that the Hotel's management has
not been calculating this benefit in accordance with the
cumulative format as outlined in the Collective Agreement
over many years. When this was discovered, the Union
immediately initiated the grievance procedure to have this
situation rectified, and individual grievances were pursued
for and on behalf of those affected Retirees. It was revealed
that the Hotel was also refusing to include the years of part-
time service rendered by the workers in the calculation of
their retirement Benefit. This was done in the face of the fact
that the Hotel employs these workers on a continuous basis
for years, in some cases 20 years, as a part-time worker
before making them permanent. As such when these
workers retired, they were not compensated by the Hotel for
the many years of service while employed on a continuous
basis as a Part-Time worker.
In 2008 the Union pursued a matter at the Industrial Court
for a retired worker, Christopher Beguesse for the Hotel's
wrong calculation of the worker retirement benefit, in
particular, the Hotels refusal to include his years of Part-
Time employment in calculating his retirement benefit. In a
judgment delivered in 2011, the Industrial Court ruled in
favour of the Union and the worker, and the Hotel was
ordered to calculate the worker retirement benefit inclusive
of the years that he worked as a Part-Time worker. The
Company abided by that Court Ruling and the worker was
To the workers' and the Union dismay, the Hotel continued
to calculate the retirement benefit for other workers who
were now retired, without utilising the workers years of
Part-Time service, contrary to what was ordered for
The Union pursued these matters as Individual Grievances
for those affected workers and another matter was placed
before the Industrial Court for hearing for the Company's
wrong calculation of the retirement benefit. In a matter
recorded as Trade Dispute # 142 of 2012, the Union
pursued this dispute before the Industrial Court on behalf of
another retiree. In a Judgment delivered in October 2015,
the Court once again ruled in favour of the Union and the
worker, and, the Company was ordered to pay the retiree on
the cumulative basis and for her years of Part-Time service.
This order was supposed to be effected on or before
December 20, 2015. In that Judgment, the Company was
scolded for allowing another matter of similiar nature to
come before the Court seeing that the Court had a previous
ruling for a matter of similar nature.
Consistent with the Hotels disrespect for the local workers
and their local institutions, the Hotel Management has now
appealed the Industrial Court Ruling, thus denying the work-
er the opportunity to benefit from the correct calculation of
her retirement benefits. The Hotel has cited several Legal
Arguments in their Appeal which the CWU believes has
absolutely no merit.
We are convinced that the Hotel's Management has taken
this vexatious decision to prevent scores of retirees from
benefitting from a similar calculation, since many retirees
have raised grievances with the Union over the Company's
refusal to honour their years as Part-Time employees in the
calculation of their retirement benefits.
The CWU would like to condemn the Hotel for this flagrant
attack on Retirees, Retirees who gave yeoman service to the
Hotel while being subjected to exploitative wages. It paints
the Hotel as a very uncaring employer, who stoops to all lev-
els to deny workers of their just due.
The Union questions the reason for the Hotel's appeal now
when they did not appeal the Court Ruling in the Beguesse
matter many years ago.
The CWU signals its intention to battle the HILTON
Management on all fronts to ensure that the Retirees get
what they rightfully deserve. They have given many long,
committed, dedicated and arduous years of service to the
Hotel, in some cases over forty (40 years) and now when
they are supposed to enjoy their retirement after their
sterling contribution, they are now faced with this ignominy,
even while they have NO PENSION Benefits to receive on a
monthly basis from the Hotel.
The Union calls out the Uncaring, and Inhumane Hilton
Hotel and Conference Centre for their abuse of their
Retirees and we say shame on the HILTON for putting a
Choke Hold on those Retirees as the Hotel Management
continues on its capitalist path of exploitation and
oppression. The CWU dares to struggle for and on behalf of
all those Retirees as we defend our Victories at the Industrial
Court and expose the HILTON as the MOST UNCARING AND
INHUMANE EMPLOYER IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.
DARE TO STRUGGLE; DARE TO WIN
Original signed by
PARIS---The Russian doping scandal took
a new twist yesterday when a French news-
paper reported that former IAAF President
Lamine Diack asked Russia for more than
$1 million to fund the political opposition
in his native Senegal.
Diack told French police that he asked
for 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) from Rus-
sia in 2011 to help finance the opposition
ahead of Senegal s presidential election, Le
The request came at a time when the
International Association of Athletics Fed-
erations was dealing with a slew of suspected
Russian doping cases.
French police took Diack into custody in
November for questioning. He was subse-
quently placed under formal investigation
on corruption and money-laundering
charges. Le Monde said it has seen tran-
scripts of his hearings.
France s national office for financial pros-
ecutions has alleged that Diack, who
presided for nearly 16 years at track and
field s governing body, pocketed more than
1 million euros ($1.1 million) in what pros-
ecutors suspect was a corrupt scheme to
blackmail athletes in exchange for hushing
up suspected doping.
The IAAF has suspended Russia from
international competition. Its athletes could
miss the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August
if their federation doesn t take remedial
steps against widespread, systematic and
allegedly state-sanctioned doping detailed
in a damning report last month from a
World Anti-Doping Agency investigative
According to Le Monde, Diack told his
questioners that he asked for the money
from Valentin Balakhnichev, then president
of the Russian track federation. The paper
reported that Diack said he wanted to finance the
Senegalese political opposition against then-President
"I told him that to win the elections, I needed
about 1.5 million euros," Diack said, according to Le
Monde. "He said to me, We ll try to find it, no prob-
Contacted by Le Monde, Balakhnichev denied hav-
ing had such a conversation
Without saying directly
that Russia paid him to look
the other way, Diack drew
a link between Russian polit-
ical financing and Russian
doping cases, according to
excerpts in Le Monde.
"At that time there was
these problems of suspend-
ing Russian athletes a few
months ahead of the world
championships in Russia,"
the paper quoted Diack as
telling the police. "We came to an agreement. Russia
paid. Balakhnichev organized all of that."
Yesterday, Balakhnichev said: "My position on
Diack s statement is in the Le Monde newspaper."
Diack s lawyer, Christian Charriere-Bournazel, would
have no comment before Saturday morning, his offce
Le Monde quoted Balakhnichev as saying: "Neither
I nor my federation was implicated in such a discussion
or affair with Mr Diack. This type of business is not
in our interest or within our power. We cannot inter-
fere in the internal affairs of Senegal."
Dick Pound, head of the WADA committee that
investigated doping in Russia, said yesterday that his
panel has not turned up the Senegalese political angle
in its own probe.
"I have no idea what that is meant to do, whether
it s the truth or whether it s an attempt (by Diack)
to try to demonstrate that he wasn t doing this for
personal gain," Pound said.
The French prosecutor s office said yesterday that
it had no comment on Le Monde s report. (AP)
Le Monde: Diack tells police of Russian political donation
YOKOHAMA---Lionel Messi could still play for
Barcelona in tomorrow s Club World Cup final.
The Argentina forward missed yesterday s
training, and was absent from the 3-0 semifinal
win over Guangzhou Evergrande with renal colic,
a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed
to kidney stones.
"All the situations are open. What the manager
(Luis Enrique) said is that we have to evaluate,
hour after hour, how he is feeling," Barcelona
media officer Chemi Teres said. "I don t know
if it is renal colic or kidney stones, or something
else in this area."
Neymar s prospects of playing in the final
against Argentine club River Plate appear to be
The Brazil striker sat out Barcelona s training
on Monday and Tuesday before doing some
workouts at the start of Wednesday s session.
Neymar came on as a substitute in the semifinal
match, but stepped up his training routine on
Friday, running the perimeter of the field with
a coach. He then did some dribbling drills and
sprinting with the ball, isolated from the other
Dani Alves missed yesterday s practice with a
bruised foot, but is expected to be fit for tomor-
row s match.
Barcelona is bidding to win the tournament
for a record third time after titles in 2009 and
Barcelona won't rule Messi
out for Club WCup final
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