Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 27th 2016 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 27, 2016
With many hardware dealers
now importing cheap Chinese
steel products, the Steel Workers
Union (SWUTT) is warning
Government and contractors
that infrastructure in T&T will
not be able to stand natural dis-
asters in the near future.
Dozens of retrenched workers
of Central Trinidad Steel Ltd
(Centrin), T&T s leading supplier
of steel products, protested in
front of the company s Point Lisas
SWUTT general secretary
Lancelot Smart said the fallout
from the plant s shutdown earlier
this month has led many hard-
ware dealers to import cheap and
low grade Chinese products,
which have been flooding the
Speaking to reporters yesterday,
he said a leading hardware sup-
plier was now importing the
same cheap steel products.
He called on the Bureau of
Standards to conduct mill tests
on the products being sold by the
dealers, especially for Govern-
ment contracts. He said steel
buyers need to be aware that their
products cannot be issued quality
He added: "We had a meeting
with Centrin some time last year
when they asked us to give what-
ever assistance we can by speak-
ing to our affiliates and if possible,
by speaking to the Government
to see what they can do about
hardware dealers bringing in steel
Of course with hardware deal-
ers bringing in their own steel,
it hampered Centrin s ability to
"In our efforts, they came and
laid off the workers and are doing
the same things they had asked
the Government to stop other
people from doing.
"We will be very careful to
advise that these steels are infe-
rior without it being tested. What
we want to advise is that the
Bureau of Standards get involved
and do testing and these import-
ed steel," Smart said.
Branch presidents Ricky Ram-
doolar said while the Chinese
and Turkish products were
cheaper to import than the cost
of manufacturing the local items,
they did not pass the quality
Shop steward Luke Balchan
said if hardware dealers were to
purchase quality steel like Cen-
trin s products, it would cost
them more. He said they were
also selling the cheap product at
the same price as quality prod-
Union warns of backlash
from cheap steel imports
Retrenched workers of Centrin protest outside the company's Point Lisas Plant yesterday.
PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Centrin produced roofing sheets, Z purlins
and C purlins, decking sheets, BRC wire,
welded wire mesh, chain link wire, rebars,
rounds and High Tensile Deformed
The company's operation was halted due
to ArcelorMittal's plant being shutdown last
year. Centrin relies on ArcelorMittal's Direct
Reduced Iron (DRI) billets to make its
products. This led to Centrin issuing
retrenchment notices to 200 employees on
Smart said while the union understood
Centrin's problem, the company had refused
to meet with them to discuss a solution.
He said they were proposing that the 60
unionised employees at the company be
absorbed into Bhagwansingh's Hardware,
Centrin's parent company.
Although ArcelorMittal workers returned to
the Point Lisas plant on January 18 after being
laid off during the Christmas season, they
were informed that workers would undergo
orientation and health, safety and
environment training for eight days.
He said workers were still engaged in
training and the union was unaware what the
company was doing with the plant.
He added: "We have taken the lay off matter
to court and in the case management
conference, the president of the court had
asked that the status quo remained, meaning
that whatever was said in those laying off
letters should be remained until the
finalisation of that matter at the court.
"That is that the workers would have
returned to work on the 18. The final
submissions were made at the court
yesterday and judgment has been reserved."
NO CLEAR DIRECTIVES FOR
What are you doing to prevent
the spread of the Zika virus?
"Doing normal cleaning.
Keep the house clean,
make sure there is no
extra water in utensils
"My place is clean. I make
sure my house is always
clean and bushes always
"I live in a concrete jungle.
I make sure my plant pots
are always clean."
Definitely get rid of
stagnant water. Make
sure my surroundings are
"Clean regularly. Ensure
there is no dirty water
around. Call the regional
authorities to spray
Daryn Mc Carthy,
"People must do daily
checks to make sure
there is no stagnant
water. Public spaces like
parks must also be clean."
A 62-year-old bailor who failed
to produce an accused in court was
banned yesterday from posting bail
for anyone in any court in T&T
James, 62, of Tobago, appeared
before Justice Carla Browne-Antoine
in the San Fernando First Court in
a show cause matter yesterday.
She was summoned to court after
the man---a Jamaican national---she
stood bail for in the sum of
As his bailor it was her respon-
sibility to ensure he attended court
every time his matter was called. If
she failed to do so, the court could
order her to pay the bail sum.
Yesterday, however, the judge did
not order her to pay the money.
Browne-Antoine ordered: "The sum
on recognisance is remitted. Chris-
tine Jones is prohibited from being
made surety for any person in any
court in T&T.
Explaining to her that she does
not have to pay any money, the
judge told her if anyone approaches
her to take bail tell them the judge
said she could not. She also
explained to her if she breached the
order she would be held in con-
The accused was granted bail
along with a woman on a 2009
charge of possession of cocaine.
James took his bail as a favour for
a friend, she told the judge.
The man last appeared in the
matter in 2010.
James told the judge she was
unaware of the man s whereabouts
and had not seen him since 2009.
She said she could not afford to pay
that sum of money and did not
receive pension or disability grant.
She was represented by attorney
Cedric Neptune while the State was
represented by Shabana Shah.
Woman banned from
ever posting bail again
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